Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is set to spike at the opening bell today. Stock index futures as of 7 a.m. EDT indicate a 91-point bounce at the start of the trading -- good for a 0.61% gain in the Dow.

World markets rallied overnight on improving economic data from China and falling expectations that an attack on Syria is imminent. China helped push Asian and European shares higher after the world's second-biggest economy reported a 10.4% rise in industrial output and a 13.4% bounce in retail sales for August. Both figures were better than economists had expected.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be making headlines today, as it is expected to show off two new iPhone models. However, while the unveiling should include a lower-cost iPhone aimed at dominating emerging markets, Bloomberg reported this morning that Apple won't be announcing a much-anticipated deal with China Mobile today. The Mac maker is still reportedly working on closing that deal to bring the iPhone to the world's largest wireless carrier. Apple shares are up 0.4% in premarket trading.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is hoping to cash in on the smartphone craze as well. The retailer just launched a trade-in program for handsets that offers store credit of between $50 and $300. Wal-Mart's wireless business has been a bright spot in the company's results lately. Despite weak consumer-electronics sales, it gained market share in the second quarter, and it remains the biggest handset retailer. Today's launch should help that domination continue as it boosts customer traffic. Wal-Mart shares are up 0.8% in premarket trading.

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) is on the move after it reported sales for the month of August that beat expectations. Comparable-store sales were up 0.2% in the U.S. as the company's Monopoly promotion overcame the generally weak economic environment. Sales were up better than 3% in Europe but fell by 0.5% in its Asia-Pacific region. The stock is up 1% in premarket trading.

Finally, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) could see active trading today after it reached a deal with Virgin Media to offer its streaming service through the TV provider's set-top box. While the initial rollout is small -- limited to about 2 million households in the U.K. to start-- it is significant as Netflix's first jump into a major pay-TV operator's own hardware. Netflix shares are close to their all-time highs, up 0.6% in premarket trading.

Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Apple, McDonald's, and Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, McDonald's, and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, China Mobile, McDonald's, and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.