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Oil could drive stocks as Street awaits big jobs Friday

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Oil prices could be key for markets Thursday as investors look for catalysts while awaiting the monthly employment report, scheduled for a Friday morning release.

"You see a sell-off in crude oil again, and that can change this whole picture," said Alan Rechtschaffen, financial advisor and senior vice president at UBS Wealth Management Americas.

"Fifty-dollar crude oil prices do not seem to be sustainable right now. If you see crude oil fall off again, below $40 again," he said, "that could really hurt the global picture."

U.S. crude oil futures settled up 83 cents, or 1.78 percent, at $47.43 a barrel Wednesday after a more than 4.5 percent decline Tuesday. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude extended gains in late trade after the American Petroleum Institute reported a larger-than-expected drawdown of 6.7 million barrels, according to Reuters.