TODAY'S TOP STORIES

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Wallstreet4-111212_29Jul14.jpg After ending the previous session roughly flat, stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Tuesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 44 points.

Merck-MRK-072914.jpg Healthcare giant Merck & Co. Inc. reported Tuesday a second-quarter profit that more-than-doubled from last year, mainly on lower one-time charges and AstraZeneca-related gain, despite weak sales. Adjusted earnings per share and top line topped analysts' estimates. Further, the company lifted its fiscal 2014 forecast for earnings, and backed sales view.

UK-Houses-072914.jpg U.K. mortgage approvals increased more-than-expected to a 4-month high in June, recovering from a temporary slowdown caused by mortgage lending regulations. After four months of decline, approvals for house purchases increased to 67,196 in June from 62,007 in May, the Bank of England data showed Tuesday. It was forecast to rise to 63,000. The latest figure was the highest since February.

Aetna-AET-072914.jpg Diversified healthcare benefits company Aetna, Inc. Tuesday reported higher second-quarter profit on 25 percent growth in revenues. Results also benefited from acquisition of Coventry Health Care. Medical membership increased from last year, and the health insurer lifted its outlook for the full year.

Klepierre-Buy-Corio-072914.jpg French real estate firm Klépierre S.A. and Dutch property management company Corio N.V. (CRIOF.PK) Tuesday said they have reached conditional agreement, in a 7.2 billion euros or $9.7 billion deal, to create the leading pure play retail property company in Europe.

Talisman-Energy-TLM-072914.jpg Talisman Energy Inc. reported Tuesday a net loss in its second quarter on one-time charges that offset revenue growth. In the prior year, Talisman recorded a profit. The Canadian oil and gas company's production was higher from last year and said it remains on track to meet operating and financial targets for 2014.

wallstreet-040912_29Jul14.jpg Early indications suggest that Wall Street stocks may open lower on Tuesday ahead of the release of earnings by companies such as Pfizer (PFE), Merck (MRK) and UPS (UPS), and economic data on house prices and consumer confidence. A 2-day FOMC meeting gets underway, although a decision is not expected...

Honda-072914.jpg Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. Ltd. Tuesday reported higher profit in its first quarter, as sales were benefited by strong results in automobile and motorcycle business operations, along with favorable foreign currency impact. The company also announced dividend, and lifted forecast for fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

Orange-072914.jpg French telecom major Orange SA, previously France Telecom, Tuesday reported a decline in the first-half profit as well as turnover, but stabilized the rate of EBITDA margin. The firm also confirmed its guidance for full year 2014.

BP-072914.jpg BP Plc. (BP.L, BP_UN.TO, BP) Tuesday reported increased profit for the second quarter, despite decreased production. The oil giant also warned that further international sanctions on Russian energy firm Rosneft, in which it has a significant stake, could have a material adverse impact on its investment.

FDA-Recall-Ecoato-072914.jpg The TJX Companies Inc. is recalling "ecoato" brand Sweet Paprika Powder from store shelves due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria. Investigation is being carried out to identify the source of the contamination.

Next-Plc-072914.jpg UK-based retailer Next Plc reported Tuesday higher NEXT Brand sales in the second quarter, with improved performance in retail and Directory divisions. Citing the better- than- expected performance, the company lifted its forecast for fiscal 2014 profit and sales growth. Next shares were gaining around 2 percent in the early morning trading in London.

UBS-072914.jpg Swiss banking giant UBS AG Tuesday reported higher profit in its second quarter with improved net interest income, despite litigation and other charges and weak market conditions. Looking ahead, the company said that many of the underlying challenges and geopolitical issues that it has previously highlighted remain at the start of the third quarter.

Deutsche-Bank-072914.jpg German lender Deutsche Bank AG (DB) Tuesday said its second-quarter profit declined from last year, on a drop in revenues. Meanwhile, provision for credit losses declined 47 percent amid lower provisioning in the Non-Core Operations Unit.

eastman-072814.jpg Eastman Chemical Co. (EMN) on Monday reported an increase in profit for the second quarter, as the chemical company's revenues increased across all segments except at its specialty fluids and intermediates unit. Earnings for the quarter came in ahead of Wall Street estimates, but revenues fell short...