U.S. futures were holding relatively flat Friday as August's jobs report comes into focus. Nonfarm payrolls came in for the month at 151,000. That's lower than the consensus estimate of 175,000, according to Bloomberg data. Payrolls were expected to fall back slightly after strong gains in June and July. The unemployment rate remained at 4.9%.
In Europe, the markets were all gaining with a few hours left in the trading day, while the Asian markets finished mixed.
Crude oil was on the rise, with both West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude oil both showing gains of more than 1%.
In earnings news, Broadcom Limited (AVGO) shares were declining despite posting top- and bottom-line beats. The chipmaker reported earnings of $2.89 per share, 12 cents above Wall Street's estimates. Revenue of $3.79 billion topped analysts' projections of $3.76 billion. CEO Hock Tan said in a statement that the company expects a "stronger performance" in the current quarter driven by "robust growth" in its wireless unit.
Shares of lululemon athletica (LULU) were down by more than 7% before the bell after the yoga apparel company missed revenue forecasts. Earnings of $0.38 per share were in line with expectations. But, revenue of $514.5 million was slightly below analysts'' predictions of $515.4 million. Same-store sales rose 4%, but CFO Stuart Haselden said that traffic continued to be a headwind, which is extending into the third quarter.
Meanwhile, Gap (GPS) shares were falling after the retailer reported a 2% drop in August same-store sales to $1.17 billion year-over-year. The company's comparable-store sales for August fell 3% compared to a 2% decline last year. Gap comparable-store sales slipped 5% compared to an 8% a year prior, while Banana Republic same-store sales dropped 10% versus a decline of 11% last year. The lone bright spot for Gap continues to be Old Navy, which posted comparable-store sales increase of 1%.
Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) were rising slightly in early trading after reports that the company is in talks to sell its software division to buyout firm Thoma Bravo. Hewlett Packard is hoping to fetch between $8 billion and $10 billion, Reuters reported. HPE has received offers for the software unit for as much as $7.5 billion, according to Reuters.Finally, Samsung Electronics ( SSNLF) has halted the sale of its Galaxy Note 7 after finding faults in battery cells. The smart device was launched in South Korea and the U.S. on Aug. 19 and was due to go on sale today in Europe. But the company confirmed 35 cases of battery cell issues globally. For customers who already have the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung said it will voluntarily replace their current device with a new one.