Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

S&P futures 2014 09 11
Click chart for in-depth premarket data.

The trading day is nearly upon us.

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

1. 'Meh' markets: There's not a ton of movement going on Thursday.

U.S. stock futures were shifting slightly lower.

The CNNMoney Fear & Greed index is currently stuck in neutral, indicating investors are feeling neither overly fearful nor overly greedy.

Gold prices were firming around $1,250 per ounce and crude oil prices were edging down to about $91.40 per barrel.

European markets were mostly flat in early trading.

Asian markets closed with some losses. The stand-out performer was the Nikkei in Japan, which rose by 0.8% as the yen weakened.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

2. New base for British banks?: Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (LYG) were rising by about 1% in London after both banks said they were looking to move their bases from Scotland to England in the event that Scotland votes to break away from the United Kingdom.

The announcements were meant to reassure customers, shareholders and creditors worried about Scotland's uncertain future as an independent nation.

Related: Scotland's $25 billion question

3. Earnings and economics: RadioShack (RSH), Lululemon (LULU), and Kroger (KR) are set to report quarterly earnings before the opening bell.

On the economic front, the U.S. Department of Labor will post weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET.

At 2 p.m., the U.S. Treasury will release its budget for August.

4. Wednesday market recap: U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday. The Dow gained nearly 55 points, the S&P 500 rose 0.4%, and the Nasdaq ended the day almost 0.8% higher.

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