Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

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Get ready for an exciting day!

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

1. Merger mania: Shares in Time Warner Cable (TWC) are up about 11% premarket after Charter Communications (CHTR) confirmed plans to buy the firm as part of a three-way merger.

The deal could affect one in six American households since Charter is the third biggest cable television provider in the U.S., and Time Warner Cable is the second largest.

2. Global overview: U.S. stock futures are in negative territory following the long weekend, though the move down isn't dramatic.

Most European markets are also weaker in early trading.

Over in Asia, Chinese markets notched some serious gains.

China's Shenzhen Composite rallied 3.6%, putting gains so far this year at over 100% -- easily making it the world's top performing stock market.

Stocks in Shanghai and Hong Kong also jumped following a Friday announcement that mutual funds could start trading through a pilot program that connects the two markets.

Chinese markets have surged this year as policymakers continue to introduce efforts to support the economy.

Looking back to Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average dipped 0.3%, the S&P 500 shed 0.2%, and the Nasdaq held steady.

Related: Smart money is buying energy stocks

3. Stock market movers -- Etsy, Shake Shack, Transocean: A few companies are sinking ahead of the open.

Shares in Etsy (ETSY) are off by about 4%, while Shake Shack (SHAK) and Transocean (RIG) shares are both down around 2%.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

4. Economic updates: There's a bunch of economic releases to watch Tuesday.

The Census Bureau reports data on April durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. ET. The influential Case-Shiller real estate index will be released at 9 a.m.

At 10 a.m., the government releases new home sales figures, and the Conference Board reports consumer confidence data for May.

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