- U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open on Wednesday, as investors eyed the release of U.S. economic reports later in the day, while the easing of tensions between Ukraine and Russia continued to mildly support market sentiment.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.03% dip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.05% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.01% gain.

Market sentiment improved on Tuesday, as the threat of war between Russia and Ukraine eased after Russian President Vladimir Putin said a military deployment in Ukraine is not needed now. Russia’s defense minister also ordered troops engaged in military exercises close to Ukraine’s borders to return to their bases.

But investors still remained cautious with Russian forces still maintaining a military presence in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

The auto sector was likely to be in focus, after General Motors, which sells more vehicles in China than anywhere else, said deliveries in the country increased 20% last month, led by sales of its Wuling microvans.

Shares in the automaker were up 0.57% in after-hour trade.

Among tech stocks, Apple edged up 0.05% in pre-market trade amid reports Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer will retire at the end of September, handing over to Corporate Controller Luca Maestri.

General Electric was also slated to be in the spotlight after Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt purchased $2.6 million of the U.S. conglomerate''s shares, according to a filing on Tuesday. Shares slipped 0.08% in extended trading.

Other stocks likely to be in focus included Brown-Forman, PetSmart and Hovnanian, scheduled to report quarterly earnings later in the day.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.27%, France’s CAC 40 declined 0.38%, Germany''s DAX slid 0.33%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 retreated 0.45%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index slid 0.34%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped 1.20%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce the ADP report on private sector job creation, while the Institute for Supply Management was to publish a report service sector activity.

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