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U.S. Stocks Close Higher to Start 2022



U.S. stocks rose in the first session of 2022 and Apple briefly touched a $3 trillion market capitalization, though investors were also monitoring cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19

The S&P 500 gained 0.6% as of 4 p.m. ET, closing at a new record after a year where it rose 27% and notched 70 record highs along the way. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6%, or 211 points. The Dow’s close at 36585.06 is also a new high.

Stocks tend to rise at the start of new calendar periods, like the beginning of a new year, because of “new money” like pension funds that invest when a new period starts.

“Today looks like a classic reopening,” said LPL Financial market strategist Scott Brown. He noted that Monday’s gains were being driven by stocks in the energy, consumer discretionary and financial sectors. Shares in sectors that are less tied to prospects for growth, like consumer staples and healthcare, were down.

The most notable gainer was Apple, whose market capitalization briefly crossed the $3 trillion mark in the afternoon, the first company on record to be so richly valued. The stock was most recently up about 2.5% at $182.01. It would have needed to finish at about $182.86 or higher to close above $3 trillion.

To put that in perspective, Apple’s market cap is larger than five of the S&P 500’s sectors, according to Dow Jones Market Data: energy, utilities, consumer staples, materials or real estate.

Apple aside, investors are still treading cautiously, as most see a rockier path ahead for stocks this year. The initial rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and the easing of restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus, along with easy-money policies from central banks, helped support markets last year. The unwind of the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program and likely interest-rate increases could weigh on markets in 2022. Stocks have benefited from low rates, which have fueled riskier investments.

While some investors expect that inflation, which reached a 39-year high in November, has peaked, others are worried that Omicron could prolong supply-chain disruptions, adding further pressure to prices.

“It’s going to be a little bit bumpier than 2021. The three big questions that we ended the year with are still here: Omicron, inflation and supply chains, and the Fed,” said

Esty Dwek,

chief investment officer at FlowBank. “There’s definitely potential for outperformance for equity markets. I don’t think we’ll see 20% plus but we could see double-digits.” 

Signs that the Omicron variant may cause significantly milder effects than earlier strains also supported sentiment heading into the start of the year. Money managers are hopeful this will limit mobility restrictions that weigh on economic growth. 

“The wave we are seeing now, you see a lot of cases but you see less people in the hospitals and less deaths. That will give reassurance to markets,” said Geir Lode, head of global equities at Federated Hermes. 

Despite the uncertainty, investors have history on their side. Since 1980, the S&P 500 has risen at least 10% in a quarter 24 times—including the most recent quarter, when it rose 10.6%. It has added to those gains in 20 of the next 23 quarters, said Frank Cappelleri, executive director at brokerage firm Instinet.

Moreover, the index has gained more than 10% annually for the last three years, a long stretch of gains that has happened only four other times, Mr. Cappelleri said. The index rose again in three of the four previous occurrences.

In corporate news, tech shares will once again be in focus. The annual Consumer Electronics Show begins this week in Las Vegas, live this time as opposed to last year’s virtual conference. Companies that are even tangentially related to technology, from car makers to education to healthcare, will be there in one form or another.

The S&P 500’s tech sector was up 1%.


Meta and


were all higher.


was down 0.5%.

Shares of Tesla jumped 14% after

Elon Musk’s

electric-vehicle maker said annual vehicle deliveries surged 87% in 2021, growing at their fastest pace in years.

Scientists are using automation, real-time analysis and pooling data from around the world to rapidly identify and understand new coronavirus variants before the next one spreads widely. Photo Illustration: Sharon Shi

In commodities, U.S. crude oil shook off early selling, settling up 1.1% at $76.08. That helped energy companies like Exxon Mobil, which was up 3.8%. The oil-and-gas producer also released an update that suggests a likely earnings beat when it reports on Feb. 1.

In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note jumped to 1.628% from 1.496% Friday. Yields rise when prices fall. 

Overseas, the Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.4%. Markets in China, Japan and Australia were closed for a holiday. South Korea’s Kospi closed up 0.4%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5%.

Investors are watching Chinese economic activity and policies to assess how strong global growth will be this year and whether the nation’s strict Covid-19 prevention measures will put further pressure on supply chains and inflation. The Winter Olympics next month in Beijing are built around a “Covid zero” approach that could affect economic activity, Ms. Dwek said.  

Traders worked on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.


Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News

Write to Caitlin Ostroff at and Paul Vigna at

Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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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



© 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.


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



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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