Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

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Welcome to the first day of February.

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

1. Fearful February?: U.S. stock futures are looking weak and many global stock markets are slipping. Oil is sinking back towards $33 a barrel.

Enthusiasm levels are low after new data showed China's manufacturing activity slumped again in January.

Wall Street is also on edge as the Iowa Caucuses get underway Monday evening. Donald Trump is on the verge of a potentially stunning victory as Republican voters in the state choose their preferred presidential candidate. Democratic voters in Iowa have two main choices: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

2. Earnings: There are a few big earnings coming out Monday.

Aetna (AET) and Sysco (SYY) will each post a quarterly update before the opening bell.

After the markets close, investors will hear from toy-maker Mattel (MAT) and Alphabet (GOOG), which is Google's new parent company.

3. Economics: The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis will post national personal income and spending data for December at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Then, at 10 am, the Institute for Supply Management will release its key manufacturing activity metric for January, called the ISM Index.

4. January market recap: Last month was an extremely volatile time for stocks, leading to outsized losses on all the main Wall Street indexes.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 5.5%, the S&P 500 dropped 5.1% and the Nasdaq plunged 7.9%.

This marked the worst monthly performance for the Nasdaq since May 2010 when the infamous flash crash spooked investors.

Investing

         

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