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Will jobs report tip the Fed's hand?

Just as the Federal Reserve signals its intentions to move interest rates back up, the dollar strengthens, exports weaken, corporate profits slip, emerging markets slide, inflation expectations decline and long-term interest rates go rolling back down to levels not seen since the beginning of this year.

Do you think Janet Yellen can relate to Sisyphus, the Greek mythological figure who was doomed, for all eternity, to roll a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down again?



Hands up for a rate hike?
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Hands up for a rate hike?

But here's the upshot: It seems as if the Fed signaling its intentions is enough to achieve the result of tightening credit market conditions — without actually raising rates.

The Fed is expected to raise rates in September, but the intensifying crash in commodities, the weakening global economy, market disruptions in China and Greece, weak wage growth in the U.S. and a coming decline in headline inflation could all stay the Fed's hand.

Read MoreFed's Powell: Nothing decided on September rate hike

Ironically and with his usual insouciance, Atlanta Fed president, Dennis Lockhart, said he isfully prepared to raise rates soon, (read September) barring a significant deterioration in the U.S. economy in the near-term.

Lockhart, not always in lockstep with the core members of the Fed's policy-setting arm, could be a lone wolf in this view, though his comments affected markets adversely on Tuesday.

The emerging question for the Fed, however, is whether or not the Fed's increasing transparency, jawboning and hints of a coming rate hike, are all effectively pre-empting the Fed's ability to take that first step toward raising rates for longer than we currently anticipate.

The outcomes are now binary. Either the Fed concludes that the economy, and the markets, are stable enough to withstand liftoff and, thus, raise rates sooner rather than later. Or, the Fed waits until all of its economic goals are unambiguously achieved — a moment that could be months, if not years, away.

Read MoreCramer: Best stocks to buy as the Fed tightens

This is a frustrating exercise for the Fed, no doubt, but equally frustrating for market participants, who are watching the Fed attempt to push the boulder (rates) up the hill, only to have it roll back down again.

What remains unclear is whether or not the Fed, like Sisyphus, faces an eternal struggle, or just another temporary setback.

Friday's unemployment report could get the boulder over the hill if it comes out stronger than expected. A weak payroll figure pushes everyone back to ground zero.

The ADP miss — it showed 185,000 workers were hired in the private sector in July, well below the 215,000 expected — could be a Sisyphean omen. Friday's report from the Labor Department is expected to show a gain of 223,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls, according to a Reuters survey.

Commentary by Ron Insana, a CNBC and MSNBC contributor and the author of four books on Wall Street. He is also editor of "Insana's Market Intellgence," available at Marketfy.com. Follow him on Twitter @rinsana.