NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were up slightly on Friday morning after the U.S. added more jobs than expected in December and unemployment fell to its lowest level since June 2008. The latest report closes out a year with the best employment gains in 15 years.
The U.S. added 252,000 jobs in December, coming in better than a forecast increase of 240,000. This marks the 11th consecutive month of job gains above 200,000. The unemployment rate slipped to 5.6% from 5.8%. November's blockbuster jobs number was upwardly revised to an even better 353,000.
Wage growth remained weak, however. Average hourly earnings fell 0.2% in December after increasing 0.2% the month earlier. For the year, earnings posted their smallest gain since October 2012, up just 1.7%.
The slight gains in futures follows a two-day rally in which equities jumped around 3% after days of punishing losses in line with cratering oil prices.
European markets were lower as Germany's industrial production for November unexpectedly fell for the first time in three months. The reading came in 0.1% lower for the month, down from an upwardly revised 0.6% gain in October. Economists had expected an increase of 0.3%.
The European Central Bank is reportedly considering government bond purchases worth 500 billion euro, according to Bloomberg. This would mark the first step in widely anticipated monetary stimulus measures to revive the eurozone's faltering economy,
Germany's DAX fell 0.56%, France's CAC 40 was down 0.7%, and London's FTSE 100 dropped 0.68%.
China's inflation came close to a five-year low, slumping for its 34th straight month. December's producer price index dropped 3.3% year on year, falling despite a slight uptick in consumer inflation over the month. China's Shanghai Composite closed 0.24% lower.
Macy's (M) shares were down 2.7% in premarket trading after announcing restructuring plans and the closure of 14 of its stores. The retailer will book charges of around $110 million in costs related to restructuring.
Starbucks (SBUX) shares fell more than 1% as its chief operating officer and long-time executive, Troy Alstead, announced he was taking extended unpaid leave from the company as of March 1. The absence was not explained further.
Wet Seal (WTSL) plummeted more than 30% on a Wall Street Journal report the company could file for bankruptcy as soon as next week. Earlier this week, the teen retailer announced plans to close 338 stores and cut 3,700 jobs.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.