US Markets

Wall Street braces for hectic week of data, jobs and oil

Wall Street could wrap up 6th positive month of 2015
Wall Street could wrap up 6th positive month of 2015

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Monday ahead of what could be a choppy week of trade, ahead of some last bits of key data that the Federal Reserve will examine before its crucial December meeting.

Central bankers in the U.S. and Europe are in high gear in the coming week, with the European Central Bank expected to expand its easing program and cut its already negative deposit rate on Thursday. That coincides with a week that could bring the most important U.S. jobs report and other data the Fed will consider when it meets December 15 and 16.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Data releases scheduled for Monday include the Chicago purchasing managers' index at 9:45 a.m. ET, along with the latest pending home sales figures at 10: 00 a.m.

In the coming week, there are also several important Fed appearances, including two by Chair Janet Yellen. She speaks to the Economic Club of Washington on Wednesday and testifies before the congressional Joint Economic Committee on Thursday, giving her opportunities to reinforce the Fed's message on the potential for a December rate increase.

"There is just too much noise coming our way this week. We expect a dollar correction after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on December 16. For now, the bullish bias survives, though with so much news to come, a reactive and choppy market seems inevitable," said global macro strategist at Societe Generale, Kit Juckes.

Polar bear on a wide surface of ice in the russian arctic close to Franz Josef Land.
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As for the oil market, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is not expected to change its stance on letting the market set prices when it meets Friday. A year ago, OPEC said it would not cut back on output unless other higher-cost producers did the same and instead, it would let the market set the price. The market did drive the price, and oil is now trading in the low $40s a barrel.

Benchmark Brent for January climbed 34 cents, or about 0.7 percent, at $45.20 a barrel, while U.S. crude rose 20 cents to $41.91 early on Monday.

In Paris, global leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama arrived for the kick-off of key climate talks as part of the United Nations' COP21 summit.

Negotiators from 195 countries will try to reach a deal within two weeks aimed at reducing global carbon emissions. But given recent terrorist attacks around the world, there is also likely to be some focus on security.

The IMF, the SDR and the yuan explained

In Europe, stocks were mostly higher as the Paris talks kicked off.

In currency markets, the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Executive Board meets on Monday to discuss a staff proposal to include China's yuan, or renminbi as it's also known, in an exclusive group of currencies that make up the basket of the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDR).

The dollar, currently trading around $1.0575 against the euro and spiked to its highest level in over 8 months against a basket of currencies, will be closely watched this year as the diverging paths of the Federal Reserve and ECB come into focus.

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U.S. stocks ended narrowly mixed on Friday as trade volume across all exchanges was the lowest for 2015 due to the abbreviated session. The U.S. stock market closed at 1 p.m. Friday after being closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

— CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this report.