Stocks: 5 things to know before the open

China & the U.S.: anxious allies
China & the U.S.: anxious allies

Investors hoping for a bounce on Thursday after two days of losses may be disappointed.

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

1. Stock market overview: U.S. stock futures are looking soft.

Most European markets are dipping into the red, shrugging off a report out of Germany that suggests businesses have been holding up well in September. The Ifo Business Climate report was better than August and beat economists expectations.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei index took a 2.8% dive following the release of sluggish manufacturing data for September. The numbers from Markit show a sharp reduction in international demand, particularly from China.

Across the rest of Asia, trading was mixed.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

2. Stock market movers -- BMW, VW, Consol Energy: Shares in BMW (BAMXY) are falling sharply in Europe as investors worry that the luxury German automaker may be caught up in a widening scandal over diesel emissions. A German magazine reported that one BMW model breached European pollution limits in road tests. BMW has said it does not use any software that can manipulate emissions in a test cycle.

Meanwhile, VW shares continue to recover in Europe after being slammed into reverse earlier this week.

The automaker's CEO resigned Wednesday after the company admitted cheating U.S. emission tests and reported significant discrepancies in emissions between test and road conditions in 11 million vehicles worldwide. The company now faces well over 30 lawsuits in the U.S. related to the scandal, and German state prosecutors are considering legal action.

Coal and natural gas producer Consol Energy (CNX) is seeing wild swings in its shares in premarket trading. The stock dropped by 8.6% on Wednesday as coal futures prices fell, but now it's set for a sharp recovery at the open.

3. Earnings: Book publisher Scholastic (SCHL) and consulting firm Accenture (ACN) will report ahead of the open.

Retailers including Nike (NKE), Pier 1 (PIR) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) are reporting results after the close.

4. Economics: The Department of Labor is releasing weekly jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. ET. Federal unemployment statistics have shown for months that the labor market is in good shape.

At 10 a.m., the Census Bureau will release new home sales data for August.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

5. Wednesday market recap: Markets stayed in the red Wednesday after a sharp Tuesday drop, but the losses were smaller. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped by 0.3%. The S&P 500 shed 0.2% and the Nasdaq lost 0.1%.

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