Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

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U.S. stocks look set to nudge higher at the open. But most markets around the world are trading in negative territory.

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

1. Time to settle down: Global stock markets seem to be settling down a bit after weeks of extreme volatility.

As it stands now, U.S. stock futures are pointing up, but not by much.

Most European markets are dipping in early trading. Asian markets mostly closed with losses that ranged from about 1% to 2.5%.

That may seem like a lot, but it's relatively muted compared to recent swings. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday that the economy is "running within the proper range," and insisted Beijing would never start a currency war.

On the foreign exchange market, the Japanese yen is weakening versus most other major currencies. The Aussie dollar is strengthening.

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2. Potential market mover -- Apple: America's biggest company -- Apple (AAPL) -- is still in the spotlight Thursday after unveiling a range of new products on Wednesday, including the iPhone 6S, Apple TV and iPad Pro.

Shares in the tech giant are rebounding a bit in premarket trading after declining by nearly 2% Wednesday. Be ready for higher-than-normal trading volume.

3. Earnings and economics: Lululemon (LULU) is among a small crop of companies reporting earnings before the market opens.

Zumiez (ZUMZ) and Restoration Hardware (RH) will report after the close.

The federal government will report weekly jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Then at 10:30 a.m. the U.S. will release new data on natural gas inventories. Information on crude oil inventories will come out at 11 a.m.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

4. Wednesday market recap: The previous trading session started with gains, but ended with losses. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.5%, the S&P 500 dipped 1.4% and the Nasdaq lost 1.2%.

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