This is what you need to know before the bell:

1. European stocks slip as the surging single currency keeps gains in check.

2. Shares of the multinational media conglomerate Viacom (VIAB - Get Report) were climbing over 3% in after-hours trading on Thursday following stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings results.

3. Toyota Motor Co. (TM - Get Report) will take a stake in rival Mazda Motor Corp. (MZDAY) , the companies confirmed Friday, and jointly invest in a new U.S. production facility that could create 4,000 new jobs.

4. Investors await a key employment report from the United States.

5. Early indications from U.S. futures prices point to a flat open on Wall Street, although much will depend on the reading of the July employment report at 08:30 am eastern, when analysts are expecting to read that the economy added 183,000 new jobs last month, taking the headline unemployment rate down to 4.3%.

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