Stocks: 6 things to know before the open

premarkets tuesday
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Investors are bouncing back from a holiday break with a spring in their step, preparing to push markets higher on Tuesday.

Here are the 6 things you need to know before the opening bell rings in New York:

1. Futures rising: U.S. stock futures were climbing -- with the Dow and S&P 500 up 0.3% -- pointing to a firm start to trading. Delta Airlines (DAL) and Apple (AAPL) were leading the gains in premarket action.

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2. China slowdown: The world's second largest economy is losing steam but not as sharply as feared. Official figures show China's GDP hit 7.4% in 2014 -- its slowest pace in more than two decades -- though the number wasn't as weak as analysts had expected.

3. Growth jitters: Still, there was plenty of gloom shrouding the world economy as the International Monetary Fund cut its forecasts for global growth for this year and next. The IMF said even drastically lower oil prices will have limited impact on stimulating the economy. Oil prices continued to slide Tuesday, dropping below $48 a barrel.

4. Earnings updates: A handful of companies are due to report quarterly earnings before the opening bell, including Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Delta (DAL), Morgan Stanley (MS), and Halliburton (HAL). IBM (IBM) and Netflix (NFLX) will report after the close.

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5. International markets: European markets were moving higher in early trading on growing hopes that the European Central Bank will unveil a market-boosting stimulus program later this week. Asian markets ended the session with solid gains including a 2% rise for Japan's Nikkei index. China's Shanghai Composite regained some ground after savage losses on Monday.

6. U.S. markets recap: The Dow Jones industrial average snapped a five-day losing streak to gain 1.1% on Friday. The S&P 500 rose 1.3% and the Nasdaq closed 1.4% higher. Markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King holiday.

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