Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

premarkets tuesday
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Expect a downbeat start to trading on Tuesday as another drop in oil prices weighs on investors' minds.

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

1. Futures stumble: U.S. stock futures are pointing to a soft start as the price of oil continues to fall.

Crude oil futures are trading below $53 a barrel as worries about a global supply glut resurface.

Energy stocks, including Transocean (RIG), were under pressure in premarket trading.

Oil prices have nearly halved this year on concerns about elevated supplies and weak global demand, and this has dented investor confidence over the past few months.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

2. International markets: It's a sea of red across global markets.

European markets are losing ground in early trading as investors consider the potential consequences of an upcoming election in Greece. Stocks in Athens were down slightly.

Major Asian markets closed lower. Japan's Nikkei index dropped 1.6% on its final trading day of the year, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed with a loss of 1.1%.

Related: Japan's stock market peaked 25 years ago

3. Economic updates: The Case-Shiller 20-city index, which measures the health of the U.S. housing market, will be released at 9 a.m. ET.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index comes out at 10 a.m.

4. Monday market recap: Stocks were little changed Monday -- with the Dow Jones industrial average down 0.1%, the S&P 500 up 0.1% and the Nasdaq steady -- but the indexes remain on track to post healthy gains for 2014. The Dow and S&P indexes are currently trading near record highs.

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