Market Insider

Three things investors need to watch in December

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Even before Thanksgiving's leftover turkey is gone, investors will be shifting their focus to December, typically a jolly time for stocks.

Given the stock market's 20 percent plus year-to-date gains, history suggests an 80 percent chance for a higher market in December, with an average 2.3 percent gain for the S&P 500, according to J.P. Morgan chief U.S. equity strategist Thomas Lee. Friday is the final trading day of the month, and stocks have logged solid gains for November thus far: 3.6 percent for the ; 2.9 percent for the S&P; 3.2 percent for the ; and 3.7 percent for the Russell 2000.

(Read more: Stocks could see new volatility in 2014)

But ahead of December's expected gains, there are three key things markets will be watching: the November employment report, the budget proposal and the Federal Reserve's policy meeting.