NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures turned mixed, with key indices either paring losses or turning higher after a fall in the number of U.S. jobs created last month boosted confidence that the Federal Reserve will face increased pressure to maintain a low interest rate environment for an extended period of time.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Watch the video below for a look at how European markets are doing in midday trading Friday:
Nonfarm payrolls rose by 142,000 in August from an upwardly revised 212,000 in July. The reading was lower than the 225,000 increase economists had expected for August and the smallest gain this year. The labor force participation rate remained low at 62.8% in August, essentially unchanged since April. As expected, the joblessness rate inched down to 6.1% from July's 6.2%.
Russia-Ukraine tensions were flaring up just hours before the countries were expected to announce a cease-fire as a start to a wider peace plan, Reuters reported. Fighting raged between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels just east of the strategic port of Mariupol and sustained mortar and artillery fire also was heard in Donetsk, the rebels' main stronghold in eastern Ukraine, according to Reuters.
U.S. stock markets finished Thursday's trading session on a quiet note. The markets needed to take a breather after the major indices made big climb, touching fresh intraday highs after the European Central Bank fulfilled market hopes with its version of a quantitative easing program.
In top corporate headlines, Apple (AAPL) is planning additional steps to keep hackers out of user accounts, but denied that a lax attitude toward security had allowed intruders to post nude photos of celebrities on the Internet, The Wall Street Journal reported. The stock was up 0.67% to $98.79 in premarket trading.
U.S. regulators are proposing to label insurer MetLife (MET) as a potential threat to the financial system, a designation that brings stricter government oversight.
--By Andrea Tse in New York