Stocks: 5 things to know before the open

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All eyes are on automakers right now.

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

1. Gimme that Mitsubishi: Nissan (NSANY) says it will pay $2.2 billion for a 34% stake in its embattled competitor, Mitsubishi Motors. Shares in Mitsubishi surged by 16% Thursday in reaction to the purchase. The stock had tanked by more than 50% in recent weeks after Mitsubishi revealed it had cheated on fuel efficiency tests for the past quarter century.

Staying with the autos theme -- a probe of Germany's Volkswagen (VLKAY) has cleared top executives of any "serious and manifest" wrongdoing in its own emissions scandal. They're not completely out of the woods though -- the investigation continues.

Related: Nissan sinking $2.2 billion into scandal-ridden Mitsubishi

2. Brazil's impeachment battle: The majority of Brazilian senators say they will vote to impeach Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

If the majority of senators vote in favor of the impeachment later Thursday, Rousseff would be suspended from office for up to 180 days.

The actual vote was supposed to happen on Wednesday but has been delayed by a lengthy series of speeches in the Senate.

3. Earnings and economics: It's a big day for retail reporting.

Kohl's (KSS) and Ralph Lauren (RL) are among the companies reporting before the bell.

Nordstrom (JWN), Dillard's (DDS) and Shake Shack (SHAK) are reporting after the close.

On the economic front, the Bank of England is issuing its rate decision for the U.K. economy. It's widely expected to keep rates on hold. Investors will also be watching for any comments from the central bank about the upcoming U.K. referendum on the nation's European Union membership.

Mark Carney, the head of the Bank of England, previously said that a British exit from the EU presents "the biggest domestic risk" to financial stability.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

4. Global stock market overview: U.S. stock futures are pointing up, but it's a different story overseas.

Most European markets are dipping in early trading. Asian markets ended with mixed results.

5. Tuesday market recap: Stock markets took a big drop on Tuesday, erasing pretty much all the gains made on Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all fell by 1.3%.

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