The economy will likely be the story Friday, as the Labor Department rolls out its monthly employment report ahead of the opening bell.

Analysts are expecting that about 70,000 workers joined nonfarm U.S. payrolls in December, and they're looking for the unemployment rate to tick up to 4.8%.

If traders like the numbers, stocks stand a good chance to rally. If the number is extremely weak, which would lead to worries about a recession, or overly strong, which could hurt the chances for more Federal Reserve rate cuts, a decline may be in the cards.

Also, the Institute for Supply Management will release its services index for December. Already this week, the ISM's manufacturing survey was worse than expected.

Elsewhere, Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn is scheduled to give a speech on macroeconomic policy.

The earnings calendar features Texas Industries ( TXI), A. Schulman ( SHLM) and AZZ ( AZZ).

On TheStreet.com, check in early for the latest installment of the Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week. Also, Vishesh Kumar will take a look at eBay's ( EBAY) strategy, and John Fout will explain what we can take away from the Iowa caucuses.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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