Exxon is expected to earn $1.71 per share on revenue of $105.5 billion, a decline of 4 percent in EPS and 6 percent in revenue according to Thomson Reuters. Chevron earnings are expected to see a 1 percent drop to $2.55 per share on revenue of $58.2 billion. Traders are watching to see what big oil says about how lower crude prices are affecting business and investment.
There is also the 8:30 a.m. EDT release of personal income and spending data, as well as the personal consumption expenditures index, watched closely by the Fed as its favored inflation gauge. The employment cost index is also expected at 8:30 a.m.
Tom Simons, money market economist at Jefferies, said he expects a 0.1 percent rise in the PCE, consistent with a 1.5 percent annual pace. Chicago PMI is also reported at 9:45 a.m. and consumer sentiment as at 9:55 a.m. Simons said he is also watching the University of Michigan consumer sentiment number, expected at 86.4, for October, after consumer confidence jumped to a seven-year high.
"People are going to start looking at inflation in those consumer sentiment data a little more," he said.
Bond yields moved lower Thursday, despite a better-than-expected reading of third-quarter GDP at 3.5 percent. Adrian Miller, fixed-income strategist at GMP Securities, said the problem was that a big part of the boost in GDP was from government spending, and it did not show gains from the broader participation of consumers, business investment or residential construction.
"On a more granular basis, the GDP number wasn't as strong as people think," he said. He also said the price component in GDP, which dropped to 1.3 percent from 2 percent, was also a negative.
"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.
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.