Mar 1, 2017

Exxon goes big on U.S. drilling

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Exxon Mobil Corp. is making its closely watched analyst presentation today, and it underscores how the global oil giant is bullish on U.S. drilling projects. Exxon's plan to boost capital spending by $3 billion to $22 billion this year includes a big chunk of cash devoted to shale oil projects—the stuff tapped by fracking—in Texas, New Mexico and North Dakota.

More than one quarter of the planned spending this year will be made in high-value, short-cycle opportunities, including in the Permian and Bakken basins. — From Exxon's summary

Why it matters: Exxon's plan signals that the country's most powerful oil company is confident about making money from U.S. oilfields even as prices remain modest. "These resources are robust at lower prices," new CEO Darren Woods said in his presentation Wednesday.

The background: Exxon has been spending aggressively to expand its footprint in the Permian region that straddles Texas and New Mexico. Exxon said it has more than 5,500 wells in the Permian and North Dakota's Bakken region that provide better than 10 percent returns even if oil prices are as low as $40 per barrel, with nearly one-third offering "significantly higher" profits. Prices are currently trading at roughly $54 per barrel.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 952,171 — Total deaths: 48,320 — Total recoveries: 202,541Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 216,722 — Total deaths: 5,137 — Total recoveries: 8,672Map.
  3. Stimulus updates: Social Security recipients won't need to file a tax return to receive their checks.
  4. Jobs update: 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week, a staggering number that eclipses the record set on March 26.
  5. Health updates: The Trump administration won't reopen enrollment for ACA marketplaces this year.
  6. National updates: The Grand Canyon closed after a resident tested positive for coronavirus.
  7. World update: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu re-entered self-quarantine after his health minister tested positive for coronavirus.
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The weirdest NBA draft ever

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The 2020 NBA draft was already shaping up to be the weirdest draft in years, and now that the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the sports world, it could be the weirdest draft ever.

Why it matters: While most drafts have a clear hierarchy by the time April rolls around, this draft does not. There's no reliable No. 1 pick, almost every top-10 prospect has a glaring weakness and the global sports hiatus has shrouded the whole class in mystery.

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Jobless claims spike to another weekly record amid coronavirus crisis

A sign in Livingston, Mont. Photo: William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images

6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week, a staggering number that eclipses the record set just days ago amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to government data released Thursday.

Why it matters: Efforts to contain the outbreak are continuing to create a jobs crisis, causing the sharpest spikes in unemployment filings in American history.