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Nasdaq futures rise as market attempts comeback from April sell-off, Meta shares soar

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Stock futures rose in overnight trading as the market shook off the April sell-off and investors reacted positively to earnings from Meta Platforms.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 70 points or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures gained 0.7% and Nasdaq 100 futures jumped 1.2%.

The moves came as shares of Meta surged more than 18% after hours following a beat on earnings but a miss on revenue, a sign that investors may see signs of relief in the beaten-up tech sector. Shares were down 48% on the year heading into the results.

Meanwhile, shares of Qualcomm gained 5.6% in extended trading on the back of strong earnings while PayPal rose 5% despite issuing weak guidance for the second quarter.

“I think a lot of people want to believe that earnings are going to pull us out of this, but earnings are not what got us into this,” SoFi’s Liz Young told CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime” on Wednesday. “… But the reality is there are so many macro headwinds still in front of us in the next 60 days that the market is just hard to impress.”

The after-hour activity followed a volatile regular trading session that saw the Nasdaq Composite stoop to its lowest level in 2022, as stocks looked to bounce back from a tech-led April sell-off. The index is down more than 12% since the start of April.

In Wednesday’s regular trading, the tech-heavy Nasdaq ended at 12,488.93, after rising to 1.7% at session highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 61.75 points, or 0.2%, to 33,301.93 propped up by gains from Visa and Microsoft, while the S&P 500 added 0.2% to 4,183.96.

Investors await big tech earnings on Thursday from Apple, Amazon and Twitter, along with results from Robinhood. Jobless claims are also due out Thursday.

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Teladoc Tumbled 38% After Big First-Quarter Loss. Is It Just a Pandemic Play?

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After pandemic drop, Canada’s detention of immigrants rises again By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Two closed Canadian border checkpoints are seen after it was announced that the border would close to “non-essential traffic” to combat the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the U.S.-Canada border crossing at the Thousand Isla

By Anna Mehler Paperny

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada is locking up more people in immigration detention without charge after the numbers fell during the pandemic, government data obtained by Reuters shows.

Authorities cite an overall rise in foreign travelers amid easing restrictions but lawyers say their detained clients came to Canada years ago.

Canada held 206 people in immigration detention as of March 1, 2022 – a 28% increase compared with March 1 of the previous year. Immigration detainees have not been charged with crimes in Canada and 68% of detainees as of March 1 were locked up because Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) fears they are “unlikely to appear” at an immigration hearing, according to the data.

The rise puts Canada at odds with Amnesty International and other human rights groups that have urged Ottawa to end its use of indefinite immigration detention, noting CBSA has used factors such as a person’s mental illness as reason to detain them.

A CBSA spokesperson told Reuters that “when the number of entries (to Canada) goes up, an increase in detention is to be expected.” CBSA has said in the past it uses detention as a last resort.

A lawyer told Reuters her detained clients have been in Canada for years.

In the United Kingdom, too, immigration detention levels rose last year after dropping earlier in the pandemic, according to government statistics. Unlike Canada, the United States and Australia, European Union member states have limits on immigration detention and those limits cannot exceed six months.

The rise in detentions puts people at risk of contracting COVID-19 in harsh congregate settings, refugee lawyers say.

Julia Sande, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner with Amnesty, called the increase in detentions “disappointing but not surprising,” although she was reluctant to draw conclusions from limited data.

The number of immigration detainees in Canada dropped early in the pandemic, from a daily average of 301 in the fourth quarter (January through March) of 2019-20 to 126 in the first quarter (April through June) of 2020-21.

FEW NO-SHOWS AS DETENTIONS DROPPED

Detaining fewer people did not result in a significant increase in no-shows at immigration hearings – the most common reason for detention, according to Immigration and Refugee Board data.

The average number of no-shows as a percentage of admissibility hearings was about 5.5% in 2021, according to that data, compared to about 5.9% in 2019.

No-shows rose as high as 16% in October 2020, but a spokesperson for the Immigration and Refugee Board said this was due to people not receiving notifications when their hearings resumed after a pause in the pandemic.

Refugee lawyer Andrew Brouwer said the decline in detention earlier in the pandemic shows Canada does not need to lock up as many non-citizens.

“We didn’t see a bunch of no-shows. We didn’t see the sky fall … It for sure shows that the system can operate without throwing people in jail,” Brouwer said.

He added that detainees face harsh pandemic conditions in provincial jails – including extended lockdowns, sometimes with three people in a cell for 23 hours a day.

Refugee lawyer Swathi Sekhar said CBSA officials and the Immigration and Refugee Board members reviewing detentions took the risk of COVID-19 into account when deciding whether someone should be detained earlier in the pandemic but are doing so less now.

“Their position is that COVID is not a factor that should weigh in favor of release,” she said.

“We also see very, very perverse findings … [decision-makers] outright saying that individuals are going to be safer in jail.”

The Immigration and Refugee Board did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Meta Earnings: Facebook Parent’s Profit Drops 21%

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Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has staked his company’s future on an immersive online world known as the metaverse. On Wednesday, the company showed it was still navigating that transformation.

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, reported profit of $7.5 billion for the first quarter, down 21 percent from a year earlier. Revenue rose 7 percent to $27.9 billion. Wall Street analysts had predicted profits of $7.1 billion on revenue of $28.2 billion.

The results followed Meta’s dismal financial report in February, when the company also posted falling profits and slowing user growth. The next day, Meta’s stock plummeted 26 percent and its market value plunged more than $230 billion in the company’s biggest one-day wipeout ever.

The two quarters were the company’s first back-to-back profit declines in over a decade, a sign of the difficulties it is encountering as it changes course. While Meta is spending heavily on metaverse-related products like virtual-reality goggles, whether people want to buy such gadgets remains far from certain. At the same time, the company’s core social networking apps — including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — face challenges. New-user growth has slowed, and competition from rivals like TikTok, the Chinese-owned video site, is increasing.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg said he was sticking by the metaverse plan. “We remain confident in the long-term opportunities and growth that our product road map will unlock,” he said.

Meta’s main business of digital advertising has been hurt by Apple’s decision to let iPhone users limit apps from tracking their online activities. That change has affected Meta’s ability to target ads to people on iPhones. Google has also discussed introducing similar privacy changes to its mobile products, which could further affect Meta’s ad business.

In March, Russia banned Facebook and Instagram after its invasion of Ukraine, leading to losses of tens of millions of users, analysts said. Facebook had announced it would begin to label Russian state-backed media and relax hate-speech policies for Ukrainian users.

“Meta is facing Category 5 hurricane headwinds, from engagement to advertising to growth,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. “There’s a sense that the company still doesn’t have its arms around all the changes with the iPhone or with losing users.”

On Wednesday, Meta reported the number users across its family of apps rose 6 percent from a year earlier and was up slightly from the prior quarter. On Facebook, the number of users who are active increased to 1.96 billion per day in the first quarter from 1.93 billion in the previous quarter.

In February, Meta disclosed that the core Facebook app had lost about half a million users over the fourth quarter from the previous quarter. It was the first such decline in the company’s history.

Meta’s shares, which ended regular trading at $174.95, rose more than 17 percent in after hours trading.

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