Stocks: 5 things to know before the open

Housing market taking off
Housing market taking off

It's a busy day for markets and investors are bracing for losses.

U.S. stock futures were sinking ahead of a wave of earnings reports. Global markets were mostly lower but China regained some poise after taking a dive earlier in the day.

Here are the 5 things you need to know before the opening bell rings in New York:

Related: Fear & Greed Index

1. China recovers: It was another volatile session in China, with the Shanghai Composite erasing sharp early losses to close up 1.2%. Chinese stocks have been on a wild ride for weeks as investors grow anxious about a possible withdrawal of stock market support by Beijing, and the health of the Chinese economy.

Related: China arrests 15,000 suspects for alleged cybercrime

2. Commodities ease: Uncertainty about global demand and slowing growth in China have pressured commodity prices in recent months, and copper and oil resumed their slide Wednesday.

Copper traded down nearly 2% to just above $5,000 a tonne while oil shed 0.4% to hover below $43 a barrel.

Related: Why oil prices could sink to $15 a barrel

3. Earnings and economics: Plenty of companies will open their books to investors on Wednesday. Target (TGT), Lowe's (LOW), Staples (SPLS), Hormel Foods (HRL) and American Eagle (AEO) -- along with a handful of others -- are due to report quarterly earnings ahead of the open.

Victoria's Secret owner L Brands (LB) is among the companies reporting after the close.

It's a light day for economic news, with July's consumer price index numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Related: Good news: Homeowners spend like it's 2006

4. Greek bailout vote: Germany's parliament is expected to approve the latest Greek bailout Wednesday, a key hurdle to unlocking the first chunk of up to €86 billion ($95 billion) in aid for the cash-strapped country. Athens stock market added 0.3%.

5. International markets overview: European markets lost ground in early trading, with Germany's DAX down 1% and France's CAC losing 0.9%.

Shares in Carlsberg (CABGY) slumped more than 7% after the Danish brewer cut its earnings guidance and said weak sales in Russia hurt quarterly earnings.

Commodity group Glencore (GLCNF) also underperformed. Its shares sank nearly 3% in London after it said sagging prices for raw materials slugged earnings.

Related: China and India are buying much less gold

Asian markets ended mixed. Chinese stocks recovered from the previous session slump, but major indexes in Japan and Hong Kong closed down more than 1%.

Related: Ghosts of 1997 return to haunt Asia

It follows a softer finish for U.S. stocks Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 0.2%, while the S&P 500 lost 0.3% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.6%.

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