"The inflation-deflation theme was brought into clear focus because of the price component in GDP, and the lack of broader contributors to growth...Those together have given the bid for bonds which interestingly is in contrast to the dollar, which is stronger today," he said.
Read MoreWatch Cashin: One-man-band stock rally
Deutsche Bank chief U.S. economist Joseph LaVorgna said the third-quarter employment cost index could actually be the most important number Friday.
"If there's a surprise in any of the numbers, the one that would elicit the most reaction would be the ECI because now the market is focused on wage pressure," he said, adding the last reading showed a surprise snap back. ECI for third quarter is expected to be up 0.5 percent, compared with the prior period's increase of 0.7 percent.
Read MoreStill happy talk from oil producers
Stocks rallied Thursday but about 140 points of the Dow's 221 point gain was charged to Visa, which jumped 10 percent on strong results. The Dow rose 1.3 percent to 17,195. The S&P 500 rose 12 points, or 0.6 percent to 1,994.
Traders also pointed to a trading glitch at the NYSE's Securities Information Processor, or SIP, a key part of the infrastructure for NYSE stocks. It temporarily affected price and trading data market-wide during the afternoon Thursday. The problems also coincided with a leg up in the S&P 500, and some traders assumed they were related.
Besides big oil, earnings are expected from A-B InBev, AbbVie, BNP Paribas, Charter Communications, Clorox, Newell Rubbermaid, Magellan Midstream Partners, Oshkosh and Madison Square Garden.