"The Fed has been gone from shooting a bazooka to pellets, and will run out of ammunition beginning in November," said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies. "It seems like the baton of central bank leadership is being passed to the ECB, but it's also very difficult for me to see the Fed tightening monetary policy at a time when the ECB is aggressively easing monetary policy because growth is a global issue. It's not just the U.S. It's not just Europe."
Treasury yields moved higher, and the dollar strengthened against the euro, which dipped below 1.30 for the first time since July 2013. Strong ISM nonmanufacturing data, the best since 2005, also drove yields higher and helped lift stocks. However, the stock market reversed course and closed lower on the day.
Read More Cleveland Fed chief: Forward guidance change needed
CRT Capital, meanwhile surveyed bond market participants Thursday and found that 93 percent said the bond market would be higher by 17 basis points on average if the Fed dropped the words "for a considerable period of time" from the FOMC statement. The respondents also expected front end yields, specifically the 2-year, to move higher by an average 23 basis points. The majority—98 percent—expected a strong stock market selloff with an average decline of 7 percent. The majority also expected to see the dollar move higher.
Even though strategists said the Fed could drop the language, they also said it does not mean the Fed would necessarily move to raise rates before the middle of next year, which is what many Fed watchers forecast as a time frame.
The chatter about the Fed also picked up Thursday after Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, in her first public comments on policy, sounded hawkish and prompted speculation that she would like to see that language dropped from the Fed statement. "I believe using a calendar date at this point would be poor communication," she said.
Read MoreDraghi remarks are honey for euro bears: UBS CIO
She also echoed the comments of other hawkish Fed officials, who say the Fed should consider returning to normalcy because of faster-than-anticipated improvement in employment.
The economy is showing anecdotal signs of improving but even so, economists do not expect the employment report to show a break out from the trend of the last six months.
Tom Gimbel, CEO and founder of LaSalle Network, a Chicago staffing firm, said this summer was among the best periods for hiring since the financial crisis. "Our numbers in the third quarter look like they're going to be up 30 percent over a year ago, and 15 percent over the second quarter," he said, of job requisitions from employers.
Besides the jobs report, traders will be watching the events at NATO, as it discusses Ukraine. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren speaks at 3:45 p.m. EST.