Zandi said jobs will not be the only factor the Fed watches. It will be interested in retail sales as a gauge of the consumer. "As long as we get a 4 to 5 percent holiday sales season, that will be enough for them," he said.
Barclays chief U.S. economist Dean Maki also expects to see 200,000 nonfarm payrolls , and he expects the unemployment rate to fall 0.2 percent to 7.1 percent.
"It's going to be especially interesting to see what the Fed does if we get a 250,000 number, stronger than what we're looking for , and a drop in the unemployment rate," Maki said. "We're not expecting a December taper mainly because Vice Chair [Janet] Yellen, in her confirmation hearing, said that the FOMC wanted to see GDP growth pick up in a way that would suggest strong payroll gains would continue, and 1.5 percent growth in Q4 doesn't look like the signal," he said.
Maki cut his outlook for fourth quarter GDP to 1.5 percent from 2 percent Thursday because of the high impact of inventories on third quarter GDP growth, revised to 3.6 percent from 2.8 percent.
While stocks could have an initial negative reaction, strategists do not foresee a break down in the market, and many strategists see an up year for 2014.
(Read more: Gangbuster! US growth surges, joblessness plunges)
"The bond market knows there's some sort of tapering coming," said Peter Boockvar, chief market strategist at Lindsey Group. "Still a small tapering is meaningless in the context of the printing they are doing."
Boockvar said a small taper would be about $10 billion, and even if the Fed does slow the program it will still have trillions of assets on its balance sheet.
The Fed has also vowed to keep short term interest rates low for a long time, and it is not now expected to start hiking until 2015.
Treasury yields on the long end, however, have risen, with the 10-year reaching 2.86 percent Thursday and traders seeing a path to 3 percent when the Fed signals it is ready to slow its purchases of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities.
—By CNBC's Patti Domm. Follow here on Twitter