Updated from 7:30 a.m. EDT

Stocks were headed for a lower open Friday after three straight closing records for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, following the government's monthly payrolls report that showed job growth slowed in September.

Futures on the

S&P 500

were down 2.4 to 1358.40, about 3 points below fair value. Nasdaq 100 futures were down 3.5 points to 1698.2, 6 points below fair value.

Before the opening bell, the Labor Department said the economy added 51,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate dipped to 4.6% from 4.7%. Economists had anticipated a gain of roughly 123,000 jobs, according to a

Bloomberg

survey. However, payroll data for August were revised higher to 188,000 jobs added, from the previously reported 128,000.

Average hourly earnings, a key inflation metric, rose a lower-than-expected 0.2%.

As usual, the employment numbers will provide crucial insight into the pace of growth in the U.S. economy and, in turn, the future of

Federal Reserve

interest rate policy. Even with the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting less than three weeks away, analysts haven't reached a consensus opinion as to whether the Fed will pause for a third straight time in its rate-hike campaign.

"Plenty of economic data has been released in recent weeks that indicate a serious economic slowdown or recession lies ahead," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist with Spencer Clarke LLC. "On the other side, market sensitive indicators such as stock market volatility and credit spreads both indicate that investors remain complacent and upbeat about the outlook for the stock market and economy."

Following the economic data, Treasuries reversed, with the benchmark 10-year note down 1/32 in price to yield 4.61%. The dollar held steady against the world's other major currencies.

On Thursday, the Dow staged a late-afternoon rally to again close at a record high, as investors brushed past rising oil prices and embraced strong reports from major retailers.

After spending most of the session below the flat line, the Dow closed up 16.08 points, or 0.14%, at 11,866.69. The S&P tacked on 3 points, or 0.22%, to 1353.22. The

Nasdaq Composite

was higher by 15.39 points, or 0.67%, at 2306.34.

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

provided support for the industrials, and

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

helped to boost the Nasdaq, surging 7.6% for the day.

Crude eased amidst reports that OPEC will hold an emergency meeting. It is expected that OPEC will cut oil production by 1 million barrels a day as soon as possible. The news pushed prices above the $60-a-barrel level Thursday, but recently oil futures were lower by 33 cents to $59.70 a barrel.

"The bounce in crude did little to negatively impact the market," said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist with Cantor-Fitzgerald. "Clearly, crude under $58 will illicit a response and short-term resistance should come into play at $64."

The tech sector may see pressure Friday following lower-than-expected earnings from chipmaker

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Report

late Thursday and light guidance from

Solectron

(SLR)

.

In merger news,

Crown Castle

(CCI) - Get Report

agreed to acquire

Global Signal

(GSL) - Get Report

for $4 billion in cash and stock, creating a wireless tower giant.

Consumer products company

Chattem

(CHTT)

signed a deal to acquire five over-the-counter brands from

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

and

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

. Chattem will buy Act mouthwash, Unisom sleep aid, Cortizone anti-itch cream, Kaopectate antidiarrhea medicine and Balmex diaper rash lotion for a total of $410 million.

Overseas, European indices were narrowly mixed. London's FTSE 100 was losing 0.1% to 6002, and Germany's Xetra DAX was up 0.1% at 6078. Stocks edged lower in Asia, as Japan's Nikkei finished 0.1% lower at 16,436 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down fractionally to 17,903.