U.S. futures were up fractionally Tuesday morning after Wall Street's three-session tumble, and against a backdrop of continued tensions in Ukraine. On Monday, the Dow industrials led the major averages downward with a triple-digit loss, and the S&P 500 has now given up all of its prior gains for 2014, and the Nasdaq has lost more than 2% year to date.
Overseas, European stocks were weaker as Russia warned Ukraine to cease all military preparations. That came after Ukraine sent additional police forces into the eastern part of the country following seizure of several government buildings by pro-Russian protesters.
In Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 took a fall, though the Hang Seng closed higher.
On the U.S. economic front, the March optimism index from the National Federation of Independent for March rose to a better-than-expected 93.4 from February's 91.4 reading. Also, when the Labor Department's February Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report is released at 10 a.m. ET, the job-openings number is expected to be flat with January's 4 million figure.
We're also set to hear from several Federal Reserve officials ahead of Wednesday's release of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes from the March meeting. The Minneapolis Fed's Narayana Kocherlakota is set to speak at 1:30 p.m., the Philly Fed's Charles Plosser is due at 2:45 p.m. and the Chicago Fed's Charles Evans is scheduled for 4 p.m.
Away from that, the traditional start of earnings season gets under way tonight with a report from Alcoa (AA) after the closing bell. The aluminum producer is expected to earn a nickel per share on revenue of $5.6 billion for the most recent quarter. Also look for results from lubricant maker WD-40 (WDFC).
Meanwhile, the recent IPO frenzy continues, with three more companies expected to debut shares this week: Enable Midstream Partners, Aldexa Therapeutics and Farmland Partners, whose ticker symbols will be "ENBL," "ALDX" and "FPI."