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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Apple's big reveal yesterday that China's economic slowdown will dampen revenues shows one reason why oil prices face headwinds despite OPEC's move to dial back production.

Why it matters: The tech giant's warning points to economic clouds that could also affect other sectors — including oil, which is already under pressure from rising U.S. supplies.

  • "The slowdown in China and turmoil in stock and currency markets appears to be making investors nervous, including in oil markets," Reuters notes.

Where it stands: China is the world's largest oil importer, and this report comes on the heels of data showing a slowdown in manufacturing.

But, but, but: Prices are rising this morning after declining in the pre-dawn hours. WTI crude is trading at around $47.33 and Brent moved up to $56 as we sent this newsletter.

The big question: One thing to watch is whether the OPEC efforts can overcome worries about the global economy.

  • “We really do need a sustained effort from some of the OPEC producers to take supply out of the market in order for prices to recover,” Jefferies analyst Jason Gammel tells Bloomberg. “Now we’re starting to see that."

Threat level: Another factor that could influence oil markets are signs that President Trump is picking up where he left off last year — pressuring OPEC to keep prices low, even though Saudi Arabia and other petro-states want higher returns.

  • During yesterday's cabinet meeting, Trump claimed credit for the steep decline in prices since early October.
  • “I called up certain people and I said, let that damn oil and gasoline, you let it flow — the oil,” Trump said (h/t to Vox’s Aaron Rupar and Bloomberg’s Javier Blas for flagging).
  • Side note: Trump is still inaccurately conflating Brent and WTI prices, noting prices went from over $80 a few months ago to the mid-$40s now, but the former is Brent and the latter is WTI.

Be smart: A note from the Rapidan Energy Group flags Trump’s penchant for verbal and Twitter remarks toward OPEC as something to watch in oil markets, alongside the possibility that he could back “NOPEC” legislation to go after the cartel using U.S. antitrust laws. The note states:

Trump’s shift in policy and rhetoric, from preventing oil price spikes to pursuing low pump prices (which he views as an extra ‘tax cut’), constitutes an important and related development that will induce OPEC+ producers to accept lower prices than they would otherwise prefer — closer to $60 average Brent than $70 or higher.

What's next: The Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release its latest data on domestic oil stockpiles late Friday morning.

Go deeper: Other companies are feeling the heat in China's slowing market

Editor's note: This post has been updated to note that the release of EIA's data will take place Friday morning, not Thursday morning.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.

5 hours ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.