Stocks: 6 things to know before the open

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Enthusiasm about the Federal Reserve's more cautious approach to rate hikes isn't carrying through into Thursday.

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

1. Following the Fed: U.S. stock futures are slipping a bit after markets made solid gains Wednesday.

The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates on hold on Wednesday and significantly lowered its estimate for the number of rate hikes to expect in 2016.

Investors had cheered the prospect of continued low interest rates, which are designed to support economic expansion. But now the market mood has taken a somber turn.

The U.S. dollar fell and is still looking weak Thursday. Commodities companies are benefiting from the weaker dollar -- stocks in mining firms are rising in London.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

2. Rate decisions in Europe: Just like the Fed, the Bank of England is not expected to move interest rates Thursday. The Bank of England rate decision comes at 8 a.m. ET.

Norway's central bank took interest rates a notch lower -- to 0.5% from 0.75% -- due to weaker growth prospects.

The Swiss National Bank left its negative interest rates on hold Thursday. Negative rates operate like a bank charging customers to park their money in an account instead of paying them interest.

European markets were in positive territory in early trading but turned weaker by mid-morning.

3. Gold sparkles, oil rallies: Gold prices are rising by about 3% to trade near their highest level in over a year.

Crude oil futures are also surging by about 2% to trade just above $39 per barrel. Many traders are hopeful that major oil producers will soon agree to freeze production. Many of the world's top oil producers are meeting about this on April 17 in Doha, Qatar.

4. Stock market movers -- FedEd, Lufthansa: FedEx (FDX) shares climbed nearly 6% in extended trading after the shipping company issued a favorable outlook.

Shares in the German airline group Lufthansa (DLAKY) are sinking in Europe after investors expressed their disappointment with the latest set of earnings.

5. Earnings: Michaels Companies (MIK) and Land's End (LE) will post quarterly earnings ahead of the open.

Results from Adobe (ADBE), Aeropostale (ARO) and New York & Co (NWY) are due this afternoon after the closing bell.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

6. Wednesday market recap: The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.4% on Wednesday, the S&P 500 jumped 0.6% and the Nasdaq added 0.8%.

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