Stocks: 6 things to know before the open

premarket stocks trading futures
Click chart for in-depth premarket data.

It's takeover time!

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

1. Sowing the seeds: China's state-owned chemical company ChemChina has offered a whopping $43 billion for Syngenta (SYENF), a supplier of pesticides and seeds. The board of the Swiss company backed the offer, and shares in Syngenta are shooting up by about 6%. If completed, it will be the biggest foreign takeover by a Chinese company ever.

It follows the announcement late last year that Syngenta competitors Dow Chemical (DOW) and DuPont (DD) would merge in a complex deal worth $130 billion.

2. Moody markets: Negative sentiment seems to be lingering in global markets after U.S. stocks took a sharp drop on Tuesday.

But with crude oil futures edging back above $30 per barrel, the mood has lifted a shade.

U.S. stock futures are looking steady and European stock markets have trimmed early losses.

But the recovery came too late in the day for Asia. Most key Asian markets closed with significant losses Wednesday.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

3. Market movers -- LVMH, Chipotle: The luxury company that makes Louis Vuitton and Fendi clothing -- LVMH (LVMUY) -- just posted annual sales and profits that beat market expectations. Shares in the company are rising by 7%.

Meanwhile, shares in Chipotle (CMG) are plunging in extended U.S. trading after the company revealed its profits tanked in the wake of an E. coli scare.

4. Earnings: It's another big day for corporate results.

Investors will hear from General Motors (GM), Comcast (CCV), Marathon Petroleum (MARA) and Merck (MKGAF) before the markets open. Food giant Mondelez International (MDLZ), which makes Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, is also reporting before the opening bell.

GoPro (GPRO), Metlife (MET) and Yum Brands (YUM) -- which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC -- will report this afternoon.

5. Economics: The Institute for Supply Management is releasing its latest index that measures activity in the services industry at 10 a.m. ET. The January ISM index follows directly after the release of disappointing manufacturing and services data from the eurozone, which was released by Markit earlier in the morning.

At 10:30 am, the federal government will post its weekly update on crude inventory levels.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

6. Market recap: Saying Tuesday was a negative day may be an understatement.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1.8%, the S&P 500 shed 1.9% and the Nasdaq plunged 2.2%.

Social Surge - What's Trending

Personal Finance

         

CNNMoney Sponsors