Calendar builds to monthly job report

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This week's economic calendar starts quietly, and then works up to the key payroll report on Friday.

The only domestic item scheduled for today is the Dallas Federal Reserve's regional economic indicator at 10:30 a.m. ET, which is unlikely to sway broader sentiment. But China will report its monthly purchasing managers index in the evening, which could affect trading in commodities and emerging markets.

The New Year's Day holiday, however, follows on Tuesday. Markets will be closed in observance.

Activity resumes quickly the next day: German and French manufacturing data will hit early in the pre-market hours, followed by the Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing index in the United States.

The employment data begins on Thursday, with the ADP monthly payrolls report and weekly jobless claims. The key monthly employment numbers from the Labor Department follow Friday morning.

Amid all the economic reports, attention will continue to focus on the budgetary process in Washington as politicians debate ways to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. News on the situation will likely trump economic data, with signs of resolution triggering bullishness, while continued deadlock could result in selling.

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