* CPI edges higher, Empire State manufacturing misses
* Yahoo, Morgan Stanley rise after analyst upgrades
* Futures up: Dow 22 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 6.75 pts
(Adds data, changes byline)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, April 15 U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a modestly higher open on Tuesday as earnings from
Coca Cola and Johnson & Johnson helped overshadow a mixed bag of
* Coca-Cola Co advanced 2.8 percent to $39.80 in
premarket trade after the soft drink maker reported
better-than-expected quarterly revenue as strong sales in China
more than offset a drop in Europe and flat volumes in North
* Fellow Dow component Johnson & Johnson rose 2.5
percent to $99.56 before the opening bell after it posted
quarterly earnings well above Wall Street expectations, as
strong sales of new prescription drugs offset weak sales of
consumer products, and slightly raised its full-year profit
* But futures pared gains slightly after a pair of economic
reports. A gauge of manufacturing in New York state grew at a
slower rate than the previous month and was below expectations
in April. Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Price Index increased 0.2
percent in March, although inflation pressures remained
* S&P 500 companies' first-quarter earnings are projected to
have increased just 1 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters
data showed. The forecast is down sharply from the start of the
year, when profit growth was estimated at 6.5 percent.
* Investors will be looking at the impact of harsh winter
weather on first-quarter earnings, and signs of company optimism
for the second-quarter.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 2.75 points and were
above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking
into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on
the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained
22 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 6.75 points.
* Markets kept an eye on geopolitical tensions. Kiev's
ambassador to the United Nations said unrest in eastern Ukraine
is a "concocted pretext" engineered by Russia to disrupt
four-way talks on Ukraine due to take place on Thursday.
* Aaron's Inc, lost 4.8 percent to $29 before the
opening bell after the rent-to-own furniture and electronics
retailer said it had rejected a $2.3 billion takeover offer from
a major shareholder and instead acquired a retail credit
financing firm for about $700 million.
* Shares of Morgan Stanley gained 2.1 percent to
$29.68 in premarket trading after Bank of America Merrill Lynch
raised its rating on the stock to "buy" from "neutral."
* Yahoo shares rose 1.8 percent to $34.05 in
premarket trading after Macquarie raised the stock to
"outperform" from "neutral" and raised its target price to $40
* Barcode printer maker Zebra Technologies said it
would buy Motorola Solutions's enterprise business,
which makes rugged mobile computers, tablets and barcode
scanners, for $3.45 billion in cash. Motorola Solutions shares
climbed 3.5 percent and Zebra Tech added advanced 5.5 percent.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)