Stocks: 6 things to know before the open

S&P futures 2014 10 21 - update
Click chart for in-depth premarket data.

Corporate earnings are back in focus as the latest bout of market volatility ebbs away.

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

1. Expecting earnings: McDonald's (MCD), Coca-Cola (KO), Verizon (VZ) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) are the big companies reporting quarterly results before the start of trading.

After the close, investors will be parsing through earnings from Yahoo (YHOO) and Six Flags (SIX).

2. Stocks to watch: Shares in Apple (AAPL) are pushing higher premarket after the iPhone maker reported better than expected revenue and profit. Sales of the new iPhone 6 were particularly strong.

Chipotle (CMG) shares are falling by about 4% premarket after the Mexican restaurant chain warned that 2015 same-store sales will grow at a slower pace.

3. Total CEO dies: Christophe de Margerie, chairman and CEO of French oil company Total (TOT), has died in a crash involving his private plane and a snowplow at Moscow airport.

Related: Apple's profit soars on huge iPhone and Mac sales

4. Markets pushing up: U.S. stock futures are getting a boost ahead of the open, indicating investors are feeling calmer after a massive bout of volatility.

Prices for gold and oil were edging up and most European markets were advancing by more than 1% in morning trading.

Concerns about a slowing global economy, deflation in Europe, spreading Ebola and Federal Reserve policy all contributed to concern and erratic trading in the markets over the past few days.

Over the previous trading session, the Nasdaq jumped by 1.4%, the S&P 500 rose by 0.9% and the Dow Jones industrial average was flat.

Related: Russia is on a crusade to banish McDonald's

5. Chinese GDP: The mood in Asian stock markets was mixed after new data showed China's economy clocked its worst quarter in more than five years. Gross domestic product expanded by 7.3% in the third quarter versus the same period last year. This raises doubts over Beijing's ability to meet its own annual growth target.

6. Economic data: U.S. existing home sales comes out at 10 a.m. ET.

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