Business briefing

The daily business briefing: October 19, 2022

Netflix shares surge after it adds more streaming subscribers than expected, upstate New York Amazon workers reject union, and more

1

Netflix adds more subscribers than expected, and shares soar

Netflix shares surged 14 percent in late trading on Tuesday after the video-streaming company reported better-than-expected quarterly subscriber growth. Netflix said it had a net gain of 2.4 million subscribers in the third quarter, beating a forecast of one million new subscribers. The biggest share of the subscriber gains — 1.4 million — came in the Asia-Pacific region. Netflix predicted it would pick up another 4.5 million subscribers in the final quarter of 2022. The company said its quarterly revenue came in at $7.9 billion, and earnings reached $3.10 per share, beating its forecast of $7.8 billion in revenue and earnings of $2.14 per share.

2

Amazon workers reject union at upstate New York facility

Amazon workers at an upstate New York facility have voted against unionizing, in a setback for activists trying to organize the online retail giant's employees. The National Labor Relations Board reported that about 66 percent of the employees casting ballots rejected the proposal to join the Amazon Labor Union. The group won a landmark vote at a Staten Island warehouse earlier this year. A spokesperson said Amazon was happy that the employees had decided to continue working under a "direct relationship" with the company. Chris Smalls, president of the Amazon Labor Union, said the fight "for fair treatment for all Amazon workers" would "continue and expand." "It isn't a loss, it's an ongoing battle," he said.

3

IRS raises 2023 standard deduction, tax brackets due to inflation

The Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday that it is increasing the standard deduction and income thresholds for all tax brackets for the 2023 tax year, to adjust for high inflation. Paychecks will reflect the changes starting in January, with taxpayers getting more take-home pay due to adjustments on their withholding statements. The standard deduction will rise by $1,800 for married couples filing jointly, $1,400 for heads of households, and $900 for single taxpayers and married taxpayers filing separately. The top tax rate of 37 percent will apply to individuals whose income is above $578,125 and married couples filing jointly with an income of more than $693,750. In both cases, that's up 7 percent from 2022.

4

Stock futures rise after strong earnings fuel 2 days of gains

U.S. stock futures rose early Wednesday after strong corporate earnings and easing turmoil in the United Kingdom fueled a second straight day of big gains on Tuesday. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures, boosted by a strong earnings report that sent Netflix shares soaring, were up 0.6 percent. The Nasdaq rose 0.9 percent on Tuesday. The Dow and the S&P 500 jumped 1.1 percent. The gains came despite ongoing concerns that aggressive Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes to fight inflation are likely to trigger a mild recession. The Dow and the S&P 500 have risen 3.3 percent and 4.3 percent in two days but remain in a bear market.

5

MacKenzie Scott gives Girl Scouts a record donation

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has given the Girl Scouts of the USA a record-breaking $84.5 million donation, the organization announced Tuesday. The Girl Scouts said it would divide the contribution — the largest it has received since its founding in 1912 — between the national Girl Scouts organization and 29 regional chapters of Scott's choosing. The money will go toward existing programs, pandemic recovery, and supporting volunteers and staff. "We are so appreciative of MacKenzie Scott's gift to Girl Scouts. This is a great accelerator for our ongoing efforts to help girls cultivate the skills and connections needed to lead in their own communities and globally," said Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sofia Chang.

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