US benchmarks were deep in negative territory by the end of the day, weighed down by trade tensions between the US and China trade and a weak jobs report.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down about 560 points with no gainers in sight.
The S&P 500 fell about 60 points by the end of the trading day.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped about 220 points, dragged down by chipmakers.
The Russell 2000 was down about 2% by the closing bell.
Akorn Inc was one of the worst-performing stocks on the small-cap index after the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that Fresenius SE had sufficient reason to cancel its takeover of the company.
Up north, the TSX fell about 130 points as oil prices despite a rally in oil prices and a strong jobs report.
1:40 PM: US stocks slip as US-China trade concerns mount
US stocks slipped sharply in the afternoon trading session as worries about the state of US-China trade battles and a weak US jobs report mounted.
Markets were unsettled by comments by Peter Navarro, a White House adviser, that the US would increase tariff rates on Chinese goods if the pair of countries failed to reach a pact in its set discussion period of 90 days.
US stocks were also held back by a report from the Labor Department that showed the US economy added just 155,000 jobs last month, falling short of economists’ estimates. The weak data caused consternation among investors as it suggests the Federal Reserve could be less aggressive about hiking interest rates.
The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks was also off 20 points at 1,456 while Toronto’s TSX shed 68 points to 14,868.
9:50 AM: Wall Street opens with muted gains in subdued reaction to US jobs data
Wall Street shares were mostly firmer on Friday as players gave a quiet reception to the monthly US jobs report.
US non-farm payrolls rose 155,000 in November versus forecasts of between 190,000 and 198,000. There were a net 12,000 downward revisions to the past two months’ data.
Jobs in the US mining sector in November remained strong, extending gains seen in the previous month, the report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
In October this year, more than 5,000 positions were created, while the industry as a whole had added 65,000 jobs over 2018 as the resource sector benefits from firming metals prices and an uneasy global outlook.
The Dow Jones Industrial Index added almost 0.5% to 25,060.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained nearly 0.2% to 7,199. The S&P 500 edged up almost 0.4% to 2,705.
The only index which lost ground is the Russell 2000 small cap which eased 0.2% to 1,477.
In Canada, the TSX declined 1.6% to trade at 14,937.
Stocks in the FTSE were only marginally higher in a similarly quiet reaction to the jobs report.
US stocks closed mixed on Thursday after the perception emerged that the Federal Reserve may put its rate hike program on pause when it meets the middle of the month.
7:20 AM: Wall Street futures pointing lower after mixed close as monthly jobs report takes center stage
Wall Street shares are seen starting in the red, while European benchmarks are higher on Friday morning, having plunged yesterday as the closely watched American monthly jobs report rolls into view.
US stocks closed mixed on Thursday as sentiment ratcheted up a bit as it emerged that the Federal Reserve may halt its rate hike program.
Nevertheless, the Dow Jones Industrial Index finished almost 80 points lower at 24,947.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq added over 29 at 7,188, while the S&P 500 index shed around four points at 2,695.
In futures trade, the Nasdaq is down 36.5 points, while the Dow Jones futures are off 111 points and the S&P 500 futures are off 13 points.
In London, the FTSE 100 is up 88 points at 6,792, while the German DAX is up around 56 points at 19,867. The French CAC 40 is up 58 at 4,838.
David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets in London, said: "European stocks have rallied this morning following the impressive comeback that US markets underwent last night.
"The huge swing we saw in US markets yesterday underlines the volatility in markets, and that nervousness still exists. One good morning doesn’t make up for the dismal week that European stocks had, and some investors are likely to be playing the wait-and-see game until the US jobs report is released later today."
The US non-farm payroll numbers are due out at 8.30am and economists are forecasting that 200,000 jobs were added last month (November).
The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 3.7%.
America added 250,000 jobs in October, which significantly exceeded expectations. The unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.7% - a 49-year low.
Its Non-Farm payrolls day. Here’s how the arguments stack up for the jobs report. Looks like its bias -USD today pic.twitter.com/Czx3s7mccf— Kathy Lien (@kathylienfx) 7 December 2018