Experts forecast that the U.S. jobless rate likely climbed ranging from 6.9 to 7 percent in December, the highest level since 1993. Predictions estimate non-farm payrolls fell by 525,000 in December a Bloomberg survey found.

The U.S. jobless report is due Friday 8:30 a.m. in Washington.

U.S. Stocks ended mixed on Thursday ahead of the report that is expected to show more companies slashing jobs to reduce costs even more to overcome the global financial downturn.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended Thursday down by 27.24 points, or 0.31 percent, at 8,742.46. The Standard & Poor 500 index jumped 3.08 points, or 0.34 percent, to 909.73 and the Nasdaq composite index climbed 17.95 points, or 1.12 percent to 1,617.01.

Bonds closed mixed, while the dollar had its first weekly loss against the yen and crude oil ended the day with losses.

On the technology side, Microsoft Corp., posted gains at the closing trade as it unveiled its latest Windows 7 software.

On the retail side, Wal-Mart ended lower as it reduced its fourth quarter earnings forecasts and Sears Holdings surged.