US stock futures plunge in pre-opening

Hong Kong (July 10)  Brace for a wild ride. Stock futures were trending lower on Thursday on fears about Europe's recovery, indicating that investors could be in for a rough day.

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

1. Data on tap: The U.S. government will post weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, giving investors some insight into employment market strength.

2. Earnings season in swing: Family Dollar (FDO) and insurance company Progressive (PGR) will report earnings before the opening bell.

3. Stock market movers: American Airlines (AAL) shares were higher in premarket trading after the company told investors to expect upbeat second quarter results. Shares of Tractor Supply Co. (TSCO) will be in focus after the company posted disappointing earnings on Wednesday. Overall, U.S. stock futures were lower by more than 0.5%

4. Market recap: U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday, bouncing back from losses from earlier in the week after the Federal Reserve reassured markets that it was in no hurry to raise interest rates once it's done tapering in October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 ended up about 0.5%, while the Nasdaq gained 0.6%. It was the third-highest close in history for the Dow.

5. International markets overview: European markets fell by about 1% across the board after disappointing reports on industrial output raised new fears about the strength of the region's recovery. Investors were also unnerved by news that trading in the shares and bonds of Espirito Santo Financial Group -- the leading shareholder in Portugal's biggest bank -- had been suspended.

Shares in Banco Espirito Santo slumped by 16%. Portugal's PSI index fell 4%.

Asian markets ended mixed. Markets in Shanghai and Tokyo closed in the red, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng defied the broader trend to finish in positive territory.

Source: CNN