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Futures try for gains amid oil slide; jobs eyed

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

U.S. stock index futures pared gains to briefly turn lower as oil broke $40 after OPEC's decision. Earlier, futures held higher after Friday's jobs report that showed creation of 211,000 jobs in November and a rise in hourly wages.

Crude futures pared gains to turn lower on Friday after sources said OPEC had agreed to roll over its policy of maintaining crude production in order to retain market share and raise its output ceiling.

U.S. crude briefly fell more than 3 percent to below the psychologically key $40 a barrel level.

"The Fed goes in December but the path is shallow and you couldn't ask for anything more. It's almost like the Fed did this report themselves, but I know they didn't," said John Canally, investment strategist and economist at LPL Financial.

The unemployment rate was 5.0 percent, while average hourly earnings rose 0.16 percent in November.

October's figure was revised higher to 298,000 from 271,000 and the September figure was revised to 145,000 from 137,000.

Treasury yields turned lower after initially rising.

The U.S. dollar index pared gains after briefly ticked higher to hold above 98 while the euro attempted to recover the $1.09 level.

The jobs report was one of the most anticipated employment reports of the year, as it is the most important data the Fed will see before it meets on Dec. 15 and 16 to consider its first rate hike in nine years.

Economists expected 200,000 nonfarm payrolls and an unchanged unemployment rate of 5 percent. They also estimated a 0.2 percent rise in average hourly wages, after a surprise jump of 0.4 percent in October.

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Markets have been fretting that some U.S. data, like ISM manufacturing, looks a little too weak in a rate-hiking environment. Nevertheless, the market is pricing in a first rate hike and expects it to happen on Dec. 16.

On the earnings front, Big Lots and Hovnanian were among those expected before the bell.

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In Asia the Shanghai Composite closed 1.66 percent lower while Japan's Nikkei finished 2.18 percent lower. In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was around 0.42 percent lower.

— CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this report