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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

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.