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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

ExxonMobil and Chevron both reported steep declines in Q3 earnings this morning, becoming the latest oil giants hit by lower prices.

Why it matters: Exxon is the largest U.S.-based multinational oil-and-gas company, and its financial performance has struggled in recent years.

Where it stands: Exxon reported $3.17 billion in Q3 profits, down from $6.24 billion in the same period in 2018.

  • The company's earnings of 75 cents per share announced Friday beat forecasts and its stock ticked up slightly in pre-market trading.

The big picture: The company's report said its production rose 3% to 3.9 million barrels of oil-equivalent per day compared to Q3 of 2018.

  • However, that was nowhere near enough to offset lower prices, weaker margins in its refining business, and higher capital spending.

Turning to Chevron, the company reported $2.58 billion in Q3 profits, down from $4.05 billion during the same period last year.

  • “Lower crude oil and natural gas prices more than offset a 3 percent increase in net oil-equivalent production from last year's third quarter," CEO Michael Wirth said in a statement.

The bottom line: Via Bloomberg, "Oil producers are bracing for a tough 2020 amid signs that worldwide crude output will swamp demand, despite the best efforts of OPEC and allied producers to control supplies."

  • "Meanwhile, a raging trade war between the world’s two largest economies is undercutting demand for petroleum-based fuels and chemicals."

Go deeper

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday, via Axios night owl Hans Nichols:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.

Trump, your 2024 GOP nominee

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Former President Trump is telling most anyone who'll listen he will run again in 2024 — and poll after poll shows the vast majority of Republicans would gladly cheer him on and vote for him. 

Why it matters: Trump is the heart, soul and undisputed leader of the Republican Party and will easily win the nomination if he wants it, the polls make unmistakably clear.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

How smartphone cameras became the best cameras

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For years, the smartphone has been the most convenient camera, and in recent years it has also become the easiest and most versatile camera. But this year's high-end smartphones have taken things to a new level — capturing images that would be either tough or impossible even with a high-end digital camera.

Between the lines: Traditional cameras have the advantage of bigger sensors and better lenses, but smartphone cameras are rivaling and even surpassing them by tapping computational power.