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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Netflix reports surge in subscribers; Mortgage rates fall 

Netflix’s subscriber growth is surging again, providing an early sign that its shift to include ads in a cheaper version of its video streaming service is helping to combat tougher competition and attract cost-conscious customers grappling with inflation.

The company on Thursday disclosed a gain of 7.7 million subscribers during the October-December period, a stretch that included the debut of an ad-supported option for $7 per month – less than half the price of its most popular commercial-free plan. The performance followed subscriber gains that topped analysts’ modest expectations during a July-September period that followed Netflix’s second consecutive quarter of customer losses.

Netflix’s shares climbed 6% in extended trading to $335.01. The stock price has double from a five-year low of $162.71 reached last May, but is still far below its all-time high of nearly $701 in November 2021.

Mortgage rates fall

The average long-term U.S. mortgage rate fell this week to its lowest level since September, a potential boost to the housing market which has been in decline for nearly a year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the benchmark 30-year rate fell to 6.15% from 6.33% last week. A year ago the average rate was 3.56%.

The average long-term rate reached a two-decade high of 7.08% in the fall as the Federal Reserve continued to boost its key lending rate in its quest to cool the economy and tame inflation.

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