Troubles come in threes…or more By Reuters

A look at the day ahead in markets from Sujata Rao.

Misfortunes don’t come singly, so the idiom goes, and markets are being whiplashed by a whole slew of negatives, that could see this month turn again into the nightmare that was January.

For now, stocks are attempting to claw their way higher, after a profits-beat by Amazon (NASDAQ:) lifted its shares 17% after-hours, following a 7% decline during Thursday’s trading session.

Some other tech peers saw similar gyrations, with buoyant earnings boosting Snap (NYSE:) shares 50% after close of trade.

Asia choses to take its cue from Wall Street’s after-hours upswing, rather than the earlier 3.7% Nasdaq drop, European markets are opening higher and U.S. indexes are tipped to open with gains on Friday.

But will it last?

The earnings hits at Facebook (NASDAQ:) owner Meta (the $200 billion wiped off its value on Thursday was the biggest ever), Spotify (NYSE:), and Netflix (NASDAQ:) are worrying, coming as they do when the Federal Reserve is bent on tightening policy in coming months.

GRAPHIC: A record-setting plunge, Thursday’s shock partly emanated from Europe — aside from a Bank of England rate rise, the hitherto dovish ECB appeared to change tack and concede a 2022 rate hike was not out of bounds after all.

The volte face came after a record-high euro zone inflation print. And as oil prices surged past $90 a barrel, expect no relief on that front.

GRAPHIC: HICP, Bank analysts are now falling over each other in their rush to predict one, two or even three ECB hikes this year. So sub-zero euro zone yields are vanishing fast, with Dutch five-year yields just climbing above 0% for the first time since 2018.

It has somewhat taken markets’ focus off the U.S. monthly jobs data due on Friday. But a dire private payrolls reading from the ADP earlier this week — showing 300,000 jobs vanishing versus forecasts for 180,000 jobs added — has stoked fears of a similarly awful set of numbers on Friday.

Yet the payrolls, just like the ongoing company earnings season, may show unrelenting cost pressures — in December payrolls, average hourly earnings rose to 4.7% and forecasts are January will bring a rise above 5%.

Key developments that should provide more direction to markets on Friday:

-UK’s Johnson seeks to reset beleaguered premiership

-German industrial orders Dec

-U.S. non-farm payrolls

-U.S. earnings: Bristol Myers (NYSE:) Squibb

-European earnings: Carlsberg (OTC:), Sanofi (NASDAQ:),

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