Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 all up 0.2 percent.

Sanofi-Aventis and Merck & Co abandoned plans for a joint animal health powerhouse with $5 billion in sales, citing the increasing complexity of disposals and regulatory reviews needed for the deal.

ICSC/Goldman Sachs will release at 1145 GMT chain store sales for the week ended March 19 versus the prior week. In the previous week, sales were up 0.1 percent.

At 1255 GMT (8:55 a.m. ET), Redbook releases its Retail Sales Index of department and chain store sales for March versus February. In the prior period, sales fell 0.5 percent.

Design software maker Adobe systems is expected to deliver its fourth consecutive quarterly improvement in profit, driven by strong adoption of its software. Wall Street has priced in a profit of 57 cents per share, up from 40 cents per share one year ago.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issues Home Price Index for January at 1400 GMT. In December, the index fell 0.3 percent.

British media groups vehemently opposed to News Corp's proposed buyout of pay-TV firm BSkyB say it is fanciful that Rupert Murdoch will not interfere in the running of its influential news station.

Anti-aircraft fire rang out across Tripoli for a third night as air attacks were reported in the capital and on targets in eastern Libya. But a U.S. general said allied bombing raids were likely to become less frequent as Washington holds back from being sucked into the Libyan civil war.

Smoke and steam rose from two of the most threatening reactors at Japan's quake-crippled nuclear plant, suggesting the battle to avert a disastrous meltdown and stop the spread of radiation was far from won.

European shares rose on Tuesday, adding to the previous session's sharp gains and further retracing last week's hefty selloff, as buyers emerged to tap cheap equity valuations. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares was 0.5 percent higher.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 178.01 points, or 1.50 percent, to 12,036.53. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> climbed 19.18 points, or 1.50 percent, to 1,298.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 48.42 points, or 1.83 percent, to 2,692.09.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Hans Peters)