Futures pared their gains after a report showed more jobs were lost in January than expected.
U.S. employers shaved 598,000 jobsfrom nonfarm payrolls last month, the most since 1974 and roughly 75,000 more than expected. At the same time, the unemployment rate shot up to 7.6 percent.
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This comes a day after a report showed weekly claims for first-time unemployment benefit rose above 600,000.
In corporate news, Toyota Motor said it was heading for its first annual net loss since 1950. A sharp drop in auto sales combined with a plunging yen to contribute to the company's difficult 2008, which the company said will end with a $3.85 billion loss.
Pre-market trading was slow early, but banks looked to have some momentum heading into the opening. After starting Thursday sharply lower, the sector recovered on hopes for a government rescue plan and enabled the market to post a nice gain for the day.
The trend continued Friday, with Bank of America up 4.75 percent, Citigroup 3.4 percent higher, and JPMorgan Chase showing a 1.1 percent gain premarket.
Oil prices continued to drop, with US light, sweet crude dropping more than $1 to around $40 a barrel.
Across the globe, Asian markets finished the session mostly higher, while European indexes hovered around the unchanged mark.
International big-name earnings were mostly disappointing. Toyota Motornow expects an annual loss for the year ending March to be around $5 billion, triple what it had anticipated earlier. And British Airways swung to a $100 million loss, blaming the economy.
Another whiff of scandal could also be putting a little pressure on futures.
On Thursday, whistleblower Harry Markopolos, whose warnings about the Bernard Madoff scandal fell on deaf ears at the Securities and Exchange Commission for years, has provided the SEC's Inspector General with new information about an alleged "mini-Madoff" fraud that is still underway, CNBC has learned.