Stocks: 6 things to know before the open

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Monday morning blues? Not in Europe, where markets are resuming their race higher. Will Wall Street follow?

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

1. Monday momentum: Most European markets are rising in early trade, with Germany's DAX pushing above 12,000 points for the first time, as the newly-launched money printing program by the European Central Bank continues to support stocks. The DAX is the world's hottest market so far this year.

U.S. stock futures are also gaining ground.

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2. Stock market movers -- Construction crumbles: Building materials groups are missing out on the positive start after a mega cement merger fell apart. Switzerland's Holcim (HCMLF) said it wanted to renegotiate a planned $45 billion deal with France's Lafarge (LFGEF). Shares in Lafarge fell 4%, while Holcim slipped about 1%. Industry rival CRH (CRH) fell 3% in London.

3. China boost: The Shanghai Composite gained more than 2%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose by 0.5%, as China's Premier Li Keqiang promised to press ahead with economic reforms, and reiterated that the government had plenty of options to bolster growth if necessary to hit this year's target of 7%.

Keqiang was speaking as China's closed its annual parliamentary meetings on Sunday in Beijing. He said the reforms would hurt.

"This is not nail clipping," he said. "This is like taking knife to one's own flesh."

4. Waiting for the Fed: U.S. markets have been on edge in recent days as investors have tried to figure out the timing of a rise in U.S. interest rates. The Federal Reserve starts a two-day meeting Tuesday, and markets are speculating that a critical word -- patient -- may be removed from its official policy statement. That could open the door for the Fed to raise rates in June, earlier than some hoped.

5. Economics: The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index will come out at 10 a.m. ET.

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6. Friday market recap: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 146 points, while the S&P 500 fell 0.6% and the Nasdaq closed 0.4% lower.

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