NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures extended losses on Friday as investors digested a mixed jobs report: data that showed the U.S. added far fewer jobs than expected in August, while hourly wages rose and the unemployment rate dropped.
S&P 500 futures were down 0.81%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.89%, and Nasdaq futures slid 0.83%.
The U.S. added 173,000 jobs in August, according to the Labor Department, far below economists' estimates of an increase of 223,000. U.S. hourly wages rose 0.3% month on month, above expectations of 0.2% growth. The unemployment rate fell to 5.1%, its lowest level since 2008 and a faster drop than the forecast of 5.2% unemployment predicted.
Markets were jittery as investors tried to glean what the labor market situation might mean for the Fed's rate hike timeline.
"We doubt this report meaningfully changes the Fed's outlook on a September rate hike," Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG Research, wrote in a note. "While the headline figure was less than expected, revisions mitigate that miss while the other parts of the report, specifically the unemployment rate drop and earnings increase, will be welcomed by the Fed."
"If one was inclined to believe the Fed would not hike in September, the headline miss works in your favor. If one felt the opposite, the drop in the unemployment rate along with a rebound in earnings works in your favor," he added.
Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, made the case for higher interest rates on Friday. Lacker noted that higher interest rates are needed as business investment and housing rebounds and the labor market tightens.
"It's time to align our monetary policy with economic progress," he said. Lacker is a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee.
The perceived likelihood of a September rate hike has decreased as markets deal with extreme volatility in global trading in chaos. The market-implied probability of a rate hike has fallen below 50% even as economic data continues to support a U.S. recovery.
China's markets were closed for their second day to commemorate World War II. That left global markets to turn to the U.S. for direction and most tumbled on fears the Fed would raise rates even as the world economy falters.
In Europe, Germany's DAX tumbled 2%, France's CAC 40 slid 2.1%, and the FTSE 100 in London fell 1.7%. Japan's Nikkei closed 2.2% lower.
Infoblox (BLOX) gained 3% in premarket trading after a better-than-expected fourth quarter. The IT company earned 12 cents a share, 2 cents above estimates, while revenue surged 34% to $87 million.
BlackBerry (BBRY) shares rose 4% after the company agreed to buy Good Technology for $425 million in cash. BlackBerry expects the deal to close in the third quarter of fiscal 2016.