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Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Remember the Jurassic era of oil markets in, uh, mid-September, when aerial attacks left the Saudis reeling and talk of big geopolitical risk premium was all the rage? Things look rather different now.

Driving the news: Both Brent and WTI prices have come down a lot since soaring after the attacks that initially knocked 5.7 million barrels per day of Saudi production offline. The chart above captures WTI's moves.

  • Prices this morning were around $61.15 for Brent and $56.14 for WTI.

Why it matters: The return of prices to nearly pre-attack levels shows the market effect of the Saudi moves to bring back output fast. But it's also a sign that soft economic conditions have reasserted their influence.

  • “Less than two weeks after the attacks on Saudi Arabia, the oil market has returned to business as usual,” Norbert Ruecker, head of economics at Julius Baer, tells Bloomberg.

What's new: "Oil steadied on Thursday due to optimism that the United States and China could resolve their trade dispute, though prices came under pressure from Saudi Arabia’s moves to restore output quickly after attacks on its oil installations," Reuters writes.

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The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

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The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.