Investors got a dose of good news Friday morning: The U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in November, and the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in four years.
U.S. stock futures turned higher after the Labor Department reported employers added 146,000 jobs in November, higher than the 77,000 jobs economists surveyed by CNNMoney had predicted.
Investors will also get a look at how consumers are spending, an important indicator of economic health since it accounts for more than two-thirds of the nation's economy. Reports on consumer sentiment and consumer credit are due out throughout the day.
Still, worries about the fiscal cliff and ongoing back and forth wrangling in Washington will continue to keep investors on edge.
Stocks closed slightly higher Thursday, thanks to strength from the technology sector.
On the corporate front, Netflix ( CEO Reed Hastings is under )investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for posting information about the company on his Facebook page that he hadn't disclosed to the SEC. Shares edged lower in premarket trading.
Shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. ( rose 2% after the gun maker reported strong quarterly earnings results and boosted its full-year outlook. )
European markets were lower in morning trading, after Germany's Bundesbank cut its growth forecasts and warned there was a risk of Europe's biggest economy dipping into recession in early 2013. The dollar was firmer against the euro.
Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite performed best, adding 1.6%.