Stocks: 3 things to know before the open

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It's Friday and stock markets are rising.


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

1. Markets are bouncing: U.S. stock futures are jumping ahead of the open. And European markets are surging in early trading, gaining between 1% and 2%. Asian markets closed the week on a positive note.

Dramatic policy actions on Thursday from the European Central Bank -- and comments from ECB President Mario Draghi -- still seem to be reverberating through the markets.

The central bank cut interest rates, expanded its bond buying program and said it would pump more money into the economy as it tries to head off deflation in the eurozone.

Market reaction was initially positive on Thursday, but then soured rapidly after Draghi appeared to suggest rates would not go any lower.

"Traders appeared to take that to mean the ECB is out of ammunition," noted Ilya Spivak, a currency strategist at DailyFx. "With that in mind [Friday's rally] may reflect traders' re-evaluation of the ECB president's remarks."

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2. Eyes on oil: Crude oil futures are rising by about 2% to trade around $38.50 per barrel. Prices have been rising steadily since they hit a low in February around $26 per barrel.

The International Energy Agency published a monthly report Friday that predicted the worst of the oil price crash may now be over. Non-OPEC production may be falling faster than the agency predicted a month ago, and Iran's return to world markets has been more gradual than expected

"There are signs that prices might have bottomed out," it said in the report.

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3. Thursday market recap: It was a bumpy trading day Thursday as investors reacted to the ECB news.

But by the end of the day, markets hadn't changed much. The Dow Jones industrial average lost just 5 points on the day while the S&P 500 stayed flat. The Nasdaq shed 0.3%.

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