Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crude prices are trading at nine-month highs after a protracted OPEC+ meeting ended with plans to just slightly boost output and fresh signs emerged of a potential Beltway deal on new stimulus.

Driving the news: OPEC+ yesterday avoided a breakdown that would have led to a large output boost in January.

  • That's helping move prices out of the rather narrow band where they've been stuck for almost six months, but they're still pretty low and hardly soaring.
  • While a months-old plan called for easing their joint production curbs by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in January, the new agreement calls for a smaller 500,000 bpd boost.
  • The group of OPEC, Russia and allied producers now plans monthly meetings starting in January, a packed schedule that reflects the uncertain path of the pandemic and vaccines.
  • Those monthly meetings will discuss moving production another 500,000 bpd.

Why it matters: The market movement is a proxy for wider optimism about a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, even as the virus is tragically raging right now.

  • "The market rallied to multi-month highs on demand expectations from the vaccine and stimulus, not from OPEC’s management of supply," Mizuho Securities analyst Robert Yawger said in a note.

Yes, but: The meeting outcome avoided what would have been a surprise decision to proceed with plans for a larger output boost, which would have put downward pressure on prices.

  • Goldman Sachs analysts, in a note, said the group avoided a "taper tantrum" with plans for the 500,000 bpd rise.

The intrigue: While rising prices are certainly welcome for the beleaguered U.S. shale patch, a Rystad Energy analyst said the plan for frequent OPEC+ meetings that could adjust output creates new hurdles, too.

  • "This development leaves U.S. shale producers and other market participants with less 'certainty' about OPEC+’ exact production targets going forward," Rystad's Bjornar Tonhaugen said in a note.
  • He also said: "The market euphoria will at some point soon likely fizzle out as the deal is not uniformly bullish, but rather “ok” given the demand and non-OPEC+ supply outlook."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

U.S. markets brace for possible inflation spike

Expand chart
Data: ISM; Chart: Axios Visuals

A spate of recent U.S. economic data releases suggest that inflation could be making a major comeback.

Driving the news: Thursday's report on the U.S. services sector for November from the Institute for Supply Management was slightly better than expected but still down from October's reading, however, the bigger story was in the prices paid index.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Dec 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

Copper prices reach highest peak since 2013

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Copper prices rose to the highest since March 2013 on Thursday, spurred by substantial increases in orders from China and expectations it will be a major component in new green energy projects.

Why it matters: Dr. Copper, as the metal is affectionately known, is a bellwether for the economy because it is used for wiring, piping and in most construction projects and household appliances.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!