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Protestors hold a demonistration against Maduro in Bogota, Colombia, on Jan. 23. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

Oil prices are basically flat Thursday after falling yesterday despite uncertainty in Venezuela and the White House endorsement of regime change against Nicolás Maduro. But, that could change if new U.S. oil sanctions arrive soon.

Why it matters: For now, the limited market response to Venezuela shows how concerns about a weakening global economy are keeping upward price pressures from the geopolitical turmoil in check.

Where it stands: This morning, WTI crude was trading around $52.22 and Brent was at $60.57.

What they're saying: “Right now, the market is kind of keyed in to growth risks stemming from U.S.-China trade talks, and a slow start out of the gate for the U.S., given the government shutdown,” Macro Risk Advisors' Chris Kettenmann told the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

But, but, but: Prices inched up earlier this morning, and one analyst tells Reuters that the prospect of U.S sanctions against Venezuelan crude exports could jolt the markets soon.

  • "For now, it's not being fully priced in, but I think this does provide a new upside risk for the market," Petromatrix's Olivier Jakob said.

The intrigue: Venezuela's collapsing production in recent years has already lessened its prominence in global markets.

  • But it's still a very important player for U.S. refiners who use substantial volumes of Venezuelan heavy crude.
  • "Refiners in Texas and Louisiana would be hard hit by sanctions on Venezuelan crude under consideration at the White House, a move that would leave U.S. oil companies struggling to find alternative supplies," per Bloomberg.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.

Thanksgiving box office shows theaters have long road to recovery

Photo of Disney's "Encanto;" Credit: Disney

Box office ticket sales over the Thanksgiving holiday show that consumer confidence in moviegoing is slowly improving, but not enough to bring the struggling theater industry back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, if ever.

Why it matters: "We may have to temper expectations a bit" for next year, said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.