Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

S&P futures 2014 09 25
Click chart for in-depth premarket data.

What does the market have in store today?

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

1. Strong dollar: The U.S. dollar was strengthening versus other global currencies, and gold prices were declining by about 1%.

Simon Smith, an economist at FxPro, said the dollar's strength against other currencies is now at a level "last seen in mid-2010 when the euro was getting hammered in the early stages of the eurozone crisis."

The dollar was 0.4% firmer against the euro, continuing a recent trend driven by growing divergence in monetary policy between the U.S. and the eurozone, where the economy has stalled.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

2. Bad Apple: Shares in Apple (AAPL) were showing signs of weakness premarket after the company withdrew its latest software update following widely reported technical problems. Social media is also buzzing over customer reports that the new iPhone 6 Plus is bendable.

Apple's popular products frequently face a backlash soon after their release, but then complaints from die-hard consumers tend to calm down.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

3. Mixed signals: U.S. stock futures were barely budging Thursday after posting a solid rebound over the previous session. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 154 points, the S&P 500 rose 0.8%, and the Nasdaq closed 1% higher.

European stock markets were broadly firmer in early trading, tracking Wall Street's gains and helped by the dollar's strength.

But shares in retail chain H&M (HNNMY) fell by 4% in Sweden after the company warned of weak September sales because of unusually warm weather.

Asian markets ended with mixed results. The Nikkei was a stand-out performer with a 1.3% gain.

4. Earnings and economics: Nike (NKE) will report quarterly earnings after the closing bell.

The U.S. government will report weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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