Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Monday, as trading volumes were expected to remain light in the absence of any major U.S. economic reports, while investors continued to monitor developments in Ukraine.
Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.31% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.34% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.41% increase.
Markets were jittery after pro-Russian separatists claimed victory in a weekend referendum on self-rule in eastern Ukraine, fuelling fears that the country is sliding closer to civil war. The vote has been condemned by Ukraine’s government and the West.
The tech sector was expected to be active, following reports last week that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is nearing an acquisition of Beats Electronics LLC for $3.2 billion. Shares in the iPhone maker edged up 0.19% in pre-market trade.
In similar news, Rupert Murdoch''s British Sky Broadcasting Group (LONDON:BSY) said it is in talks to buy the Italian and German pay-TV assets of Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOX). The latter owns 39% of BSkyB.
The deal for control of satellite carriers Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland would reportedly be valued at about $14 billion.
Elsewhere, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) was slated to remain in the spotlight amid its ongoing attempts to acquire U.K. rival Astrazeneca (LONDON:AZN). Pfizer boss Ian Read was set to appear before a U.K. business select committee on Tuesday alongside Astrazeneca''s Pascal Soriot.
Shares in the U.S. drugmaker climbed 0.62% in early trading.
Other stocks likely to be in focus included Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT), Macy''s (NYSE:M) and JC Penney (NYSE:JCP), scheduled to report quarterly results later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 inched up 0.01%, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.19%, Germany''s DAX rose 0.26%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 added 0.17%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng jumped 1.82%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 shed 0.35%.