Photo: Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Shell's profit surged to $5.6 billion in the third quarter, up from $4.1 billion in the same period last year, the oil-and-gas giant announced today.

Why it matters: The haul is the latest sign of how the rise in crude oil prices is boosting the fortunes of the industry, although Shell didn't hit analysts' forecasts.

  • Shell said higher oil, gas and LNG prices, as well as money from its gas trading unit, were behind the rise.
  • But those gains were partly offset by factors including lower margins in refining and "adverse currency exchange effects."

Where it stands: The company used the report to say it's rewarding investors by increasing its share buybacks to $2.5 billion between now and late January.

  • That's up from $2 billion in the prior phase of the program that envisions $25 billion in buybacks by the end of 2020.

What's next: Exxon and Chevron, the largest U.S.-based majors, will report their Q3 results on Friday morning.

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The pandemic is getting worse again

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Due to a database error, Missouri had a 3 day gap in reporting from Oct. 11-13; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Every available piece of data proves it: The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse again, all across America.

The big picture: As the death toll ticks past 212,000, at a moment when containing the virus ought to be easier and more urgent than ever, we are instead giving it a bigger foothold to grow from.

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