Stocks: 5 things to know before the open

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Global investors are shifting their focus from Chinese markets to the Federal Reserve today.

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

1. Chinese markets gain: The Shanghai Composite index and Shenzhen index both regained some lost ground Wednesday, closing with gains of 3.4% and 4.1% respectively.

Markets are stabilizing after intervention by officials aimed at halting a crash that saw the Shanghai Composite drop 8.5% Monday -- its biggest percentage fall in a day since 2007.

Chinese equities have been on a wild ride since the start of the year.

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2. Focus on the Fed: Now that Chinese markets are closed for the day, investor attention is shifting to the Federal Reserve. The Federal Open Market Committee issues its decision on interest rates at 2 p.m. ET.

"Markets expect the central bank to withhold an interest rate hike this time around, putting the focus on the statement accompanying the announcement for further guidance," said Ilya Spivak, a currency strategist at DailyFX.

Many expect a rate hike could come later this year as the U.S. economy improves.

3. Stock market overview: U.S. stock futures are edging higher ahead of the open.

European markets are mixed in early trading.

Across Asia, market moves were relatively muted, except for the gains in China.

Looking back to Tuesday's trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.1%, the S&P 500 climbed 1.2% and the Nasdaq jumped 1%.

4. Movers and shakers: Akamai Technologies (AKAM), a cloud services company, saw its stock drop about 10% in extended trading following weak earnings.

Shares in insurance company Assurant (AIZ) are up about 10% in extended trading after releasing better-than-expected quarterly results.

And shares in Gilead Sciences (GILD) are up 4% premarket after its earnings beat expectations.

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5. More earnings: Companies such as Anthem (ANTX), Altria (MO), Starz (STRZA) and Hilton Hotels (HLT) are reporting quarterly results ahead of the open.

After the markets close, companies including Crocs (CROX), Facebook (FB), Marriott (MAR) and Whole Foods (WFM) will report.

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