Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

premarkets may 18
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Investors are feeling the Monday blues.

U.S. stock futures were pointing to a soft start to the trading week, taking a breather after a recent record-breaking run.

Here are the 4 things you need to know before the opening bell rings in New York:

Related: Fear & Greed Index

1. Earnings and economics: It's a big week for retail earnings and Urban Outfitters (URBN) will kick things off with its quarterly report after the close.

Earnings reports are on tap later this week from Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY).

On the economic front, the National Association of Home Builders release its monthly housing market index at 10 a.m. ET.

Related: What's in store for U.S. stocks this week

2. Oil climbs: Crude prices gained about 1% to push above $60 a barrel as investors absorbed news of fresh fighting in the Middle East. The key Iraqi city of Ramadi fell to ISIS on Sunday, while airstrikes resumed in Yemen as a ceasefire ended. Oil prices have stabilized in recent months after plunging around 50% in the last half of 2014.

Related: Have an investing question? Ask CNNMoney!

3. International markets: Major European markets are edging higher in early trading. Germany's DAX is the strongest performer, up 0.9%. Asian markets had a mixed day.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30 Index

4. Friday recap: The Dow Jones industrial average gained 20 points, while the S&P 500 inched up 0.1% to a fresh record close. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.1%.

U.S. stocks have been powering ahead despite mounting evidence that the American economy isn't all it's cracked up to be.

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