Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

premarket stocks trading futures
Click chart for in-depth premarket data.

Wall Street traders can't seem to decide whether to buy or sell on Thursday.

U.S. stock futures are little changed and international stock markets are mixed.

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

1. Heavy metal: Industrial metal prices are continuing to rebound from painfully low levels set in recent months. Prices for nickel and copper are jumping, extending a rally that's been going on for a few weeks.

Those moves are lifting shares in mining firms that trade in London, including Anglo American (AAUKF) and BHP Billiton (BBL).

2. Oil stays steady: Crude oil futures are holding onto recent gains, trading around $34.50 per barrel.

Venezuela said 15 major oil producing nations would meet later this month to agree an output freeze, but gave no further details. Saudi Arabia and Russia recently agreed to cap production levels in an effort to keep oil prices from falling further in an oversupplied market.

Investors around the world freaked out when oil prices plummeted to a 13-year low of $26.05 a barrel on February 11, but oil has since rallied by more than 30%.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

3. Earnings: Companies including Kroger (KR), Burlington Stores (BURL) and Barnes & Noble (BKS) are reporting ahead of the open.

After the close, the markets will see the results from H&R Block (HRB), Smith & Wesson (SWHC) and Planet Fitness (PLNT).

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

4. Wednesday market recap: Wednesday was a relatively quiet day. The Dow Jones industrial average inched up 0.2%, the S&P 500 gained 0.4% and the Nasdaq added 0.3%.

Mortgage & Savings


Newsletter

CNNMoney Sponsors