The stock market's year-end rally could be put to the test even before the release of Friday's nonfarm payrolls, as traders game the Fed's possible reaction to the number.
In the coming week, the November employment report looms large since it is viewed as the most important piece of data available ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting Dec. 17 and 18 and therefore could be a major catalyst steering end-of-year trading.
"We're getting the true test," said Art Hogan of Lazard Capital Markets. "A good jobs number and a positive reaction in the market is exactly where we need to be, but I think we're still in the phase where good news is probably bad news. If we get a blowout number, that will give people some pause as to whether there will be a taper in December."