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Oil and other things you need to know about Thursday

Markets could see some month-end window dressing as the third quarter ticks away Thursday.

There are a few economic reports, including weekly jobless claims, the final look at second-quarter GDP and the U.S. trade deficit, all at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Pending home sales are reported at 10 a.m. There are also earnings from Pepsico and ConAgra, ahead of the opening bell, and Costco reports after the close.

"Window dressing" is a term for the final touches that managers give their portfolios to lock in gains and shift their holdings for the end of the quarter.

"The market's focus is on what's happening in Japan, what are [Japanese government bond] yields doing, and they're looking ahead to next week's jobs number. I think the only data that's going to matter is the data that's going to change investors' outlook for the U.S. economy. If next week we get a significantly lower than expected nonfarm payroll number, that's really going to affect expectations for the economy," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank.

The market has been fixated on Japanese yields, after the Bank of Japan indicated last week it would try to steepen the yield curve in an effort to help its banks.

The Japanese 10-year was yielding a negative 0.09 percent Wednesday. "It's actually lower than the Bank of Japan is targeting, so people are getting concerned about whether the Bank of Japan would come in and sell JGBs, but that runs against their commitment to buy bonds," said LaVorgna. The BOJ targeted a zero yield for its 10-year.

Stocks surged Wednesday after oil prices popped on reports that OPEC agreed to negotiate a production cut by its November meeting. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 5.3 percent to $47.05 per barrel. Traders will be looking for more information on the OPEC agreement, which had very few details.

The S&P energy sector gained more than 4 percent in its best trading day since January. The S&P 500 was up 11 at 2,171, making it positive by two-hundredths of a point for the month of September. For the third quarter the S&P 500 is up 3.5 percent, and for the year to date, the S&P is up more than 6 percent.

According to Sam Stovall of S&P Global Market Intelligence, the S&P 500 is usually positive in the fourth quarter. Since 1945, the index was higher 70 percent of the time with an average gain of nearly 4 percent.

Returns have been even better recently. Since 1990, the S&P 500 gained an average of 5 percent in the fourth quarter and all sectors gained. Cyclicals did best, such as consumer discretionary, industrials and technology and the laggards were energy, financials, telecoms and utilities, according to Stovall.

"Initial expectations for a fifth-consecutive decline in S&P 500 operating EPS in Q3, combined with elevated valuations, election uncertainty, and the increasing likelihood of a December rate hike could serve as headwinds, tempering end-of-year optimism," wrote Stovall.

The first trading day of the quarter is Monday, and first up for markets will be that important September employment report on Friday.

"I think next week if you get some weaker than expected number, people are going to worry about the economy. I think it's going to be a drip, drip, drip of slower growth but just enough to get the Fed to go in December," said LaVorgna. He said he expects 140,000 jobs, down from August's 151,000.