Stocks: 5 things to know before the open

Get ready for $2 gas
Get ready for $2 gas

Brace for heavy falls Tuesday as fresh gloom about China's economy spreads across global markets.

U.S. stock futures were sharply lower and international markets traded deep in the red.

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

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1. China slows: Stock markets in China ended with more losses after new figures showed the world's second largest economy is losing steam. An official gauge of factory activity fell to a three-year low in August.

Related: China's factory sector is running out of steam

Concerns are mounting over the health of the Chinese economy -- which is now posting its weakest growth since the financial crisis -- and head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, warned Tuesday that developing countries should brace for the impact.

2. Oil sinks: The China data weighed on crude oil markets, with prices sliding nearly 4% to below $48 a barrel early Tuesday, after surging in the past three sessions. Hopes that OPEC may finally be willing to cut back on output and a report showing weaker U.S. supplies had helped spur prices higher.

3. Earnings and economics: Dollar Tree (DLTR) is one of a small crop of companies reporting quarterly earnings before the opening bell. Shoe Carnival (SCVL) and H&R Block (HRB) are among the firms reporting this afternoon.

It's a light day for U.S. economic releases, with July construction spending data due out from the Census Bureau at 10 am ET. Canada is expected to confirm it has fallen into recession when it publishes second quarter GDP data at 8.30 a.m. ET.

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4. Stock market movers: Watch Netflix (NFLX) shares Tuesday. The stock is trading down 4.4% premarket. On Sunday the company revealed a batch of big movies would be removed the internet streaming site as it decided not to renew a distribution deal with Epix.

Amazon (AMZN) was another notable premarket mover, down 2.7%.

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5. International markets overview: European markets are sharply lower in early trading, with Germany's DAX down 2.7% and France's CAC index dropping 2.5%.

Asian markets ended with losses. China's Shanghai Composite gave up 1.2% and Japan's Nikkei index slumped 3.8%.

It follows a soggy session on Wall Street Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 0.7%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.8% and the Nasdaq closed 1% lower.

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