Stocks: 6 things to know before the open

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"In like a lion, out like a lamb" seems like an apt way to describe the markets right now.

Stocks surged at the start of the week but are finishing with a whimper.

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

1. Market overview: U.S. stock futures are inching up ahead of the open.

Oil prices are slipping a tad, trading around $30.50 per barrel.

Gold prices, which have jumped about 15% this year, are holding steady around $1,222 per ounce.

European markets aren't making any big moves in early trading, while Asian markets ended the week with mixed results.

2. Watching currencies: Traders are keenly monitoring moves in the euro and British pound as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron tries to renegotiate his nation's membership in the European Union. All 28 EU nations will have to unanimously agree to any changes so it's unclear if any deal will be reached before the weekend.

Cameron is working to secure more favorable terms for his country on issues like migration. He plans to hold a referendum by the end of 2017 asking Britons whether the U.K. should stay or leave the EU.

The British pound has steadily fallen by about 10% versus the euro since November as markets worry about a potential British exit, or Brexit, from the European Union.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

3. Stock market mover -- Nordstrom: Shares of Nordstrom (JWN) are slumping in early trading after the retailer reported worse-than-expected quarterly results.

4. Earnings: Deere (DE) and retail conglomerate VF Corp (VFC) will post their quarterly results ahead of the open. VF Corp owns brands including The North Face, Timberland and 7 for All Mankind.

5. Economy: On the economic front, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release inflation data for January at 8:30 a.m. ET. If the figure indicates inflation is heading toward 2%, that could boost the odds of another interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve in March.

The latest December data showed annual inflation hovering around 0.7%.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

6. Thursday market recap: Stocks broke their bullish streak and ended Thursday in the red. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40 points. The S&P 500 shed 0.5%, while the Nasdaq closed 1% lower.

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