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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.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
46 mins ago - Economy & Business

Biden's inflation danger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Technology

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

The FBI is tracing a digital trail to Capitol rioters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Capitol rioters, eager to share proof of their efforts with other extremists online, have so far left a digital footprint of at least 140,000 images that is making it easier for federal law enforcement officials to capture and arrest them.

The big picture: Law enforcement's use of digital tracing isn't new, and has long been at the center of fierce battles over privacy and civil liberties. The Capitol siege is opening a fresh front in that debate.