U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open on Tuesday, as investors prepared for a fresh round of first-quarter earnings reports later in the day, while markets also continued to focus on developments in Ukraine.
Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.10% fall, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.03% downtick, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.02% dip.
Investors remained cautious as the U.S. and the European Union said that they are considering further sanctions against Moscow after pro-Russian separatists on Monday ignored an ultimatum to leave occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine.
Market participants were eyeing a meeting scheduled on Thursday in Geneva between the U.S., the EU, Ukraine and Russia, with hopes it will bring a political resolution to escalating tensions in Eastern Europe.
The tech sector was expected to be active, after Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), up 0.09% in after-hour trade, said on Monday that it acquired Titan Aerospace, a maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides access to data services around the world.
Separately, computer maker Dell was said to be offering faster systems for German rival SAP’s Hana database product to attract business clients. Dell’s highest-performing server, the PowerEdge R920, reportedly achieved certification for Hana.
Meanwhile, Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) rose 0.22% in pre-market trade as the entertainment company's $950 million agreement to buy Maker Studios was reaffirmed by the online video company on Monday. The announcement put an end to a last-minute offer from Relativity Media LLC.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Coca-Cola (NYSE:CCE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), Comerica Incorporated (NYSE:CMA), Northern Trust (NASDAQ:NTRS), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), scheduled to report quarterly results later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 dropped 0.55%, France’s CAC 40 slid 0.38%, Germany's DAX declined 0.79%, while Britain's FTSE 100 shed 0.33%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tumbled 1.60%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.62%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce data on consumer inflation. In addition, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was set to speak.