Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

September 3, 2014: 7:49 AM ET
premarkets 2014 09 03 - 2
Click chart for in-depth premarket data.
LONDON (CNNMoney)

Signs of progress towards a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine have given the bull market fresh legs Wednesday.

Here are the four things you need to know before the opening bell rings in New York:

1. Ukraine ceasefire in the works: Ukraine and Russia say they have agreed on the steps needed to establish a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, though many doubts remain about whether that will bring an end to the fighting.

European stock markets jumped in early trading before trimming those gains. Germany's Dax index was up 1.2% after earlier climbing as much as 1.7%. U.S. stock futures stayed firmly in positive territory.

Russia's benchmark Micex index was rising by about 2.6%. The ruble was climbing against the U.S. dollar. The euro also edged higher.

"The danger is that the rally is quickly reversed as it starts to emerge that, in fact, we are still some way off from the end to the conflict," said Liza Ermolenko, an emerging market economist at Capital Economics.

Europe's markets and economy have suffered as sanctions and the risk of escalating conflict hurt investor confidence and businesses operating in Russia.

Shares in Carlsberg (CABGY) and Adidas (ADDYY) were rising in Europe -- the Danish brewer and German sportswear firm have been especially hard hit.

It's also worth watching trading in other companies that have been struggling in Russia, including McDonald's (MCD), Coca-Cola (KO) and Ford (F).

Related: Fear & Greed Index

2. Yahoo still rising: Shares in Yahoo (YHOO, Tech30) continued rising in premarket trading as investors anticipate the upcoming Alibaba IPO, which will create a huge windfall for Yahoo. Investors bid Yahoo shares up by 2% in the previous session.

Western Union (WU) and Best Buy (BBY) were also gaining ground in premarket.

3. Earnings and economics: At 2 p.m. ET, the U.S. Federal Reserve is releasing its Beige Book, which is closely monitored by investors. At the same time, the Commerce Department will post car and truck sales from August.

H&R Block (HRB) will release quarterly earnings after the closing bell.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

4. Tuesday market recap: U.S. stocks closed mixed Tuesday. The Dow lost 31 points and the S&P 500 slipped about 0.05%. But the Nasdaq edged 0.4% higher.

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Markets
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Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,687.36 226.04 1.37%
Nasdaq 4,452.28 69.43 1.58%
S&P 500 1,950.99 23.88 1.24%
Treasuries 2.28 0.05 2.06%
Data as of 3:17pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 104.68 1.70 1.65%
Bank of America Corp... 16.62 0.22 1.34%
AT&T Inc 33.52 -0.98 -2.84%
Facebook Inc 79.90 1.53 1.95%
Microsoft Corp 45.12 0.74 1.67%
Data as of 3:02pm ET