The first employment report of the year looks set to make or break the trading day for stocks worldwide, as investors' fears about the fate of the U.S. economy grow.
"Continuing employment growth is about all that is preventing us from thinking that the US slowdown will be a recession," ING Bank's Rob Carnell wrote in a market note.
November's strong gain of 94,000 nonfarm jobs is unlikely to be repeated, and analysts' predictions vary between 40,000 jobs added in December and a more optimistic 70,000.
"(Those numbers are) perfectly reasonable giving what's happening to the economy, Philip Shaw, economist at Investec, told "Worldwide Exchange." "If we were to see a couple of negative numbers, our outlook will change and recession would become our central view."