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Pretax earnings in its refining business were $2.7 billion, up $1.70 billion over the same period the year prior. Exxon earned $1.1 billion more pretax in its upstream business than it did in the fourth quarter of 2017, and said higher natural gas prices were partially offset by lower liquids pricing black onyx cufflinks square. Pretax profits in Exxon’s chemicals business were down $191 million on weaker margins, growth-related expenses and higher downtime and maintenance. Woods credited better-than-expected results to the company optimizing its operations across the board, and said it has an advantage because of its ability to tie decisions in the oil field to logistics and refining..

“Irrespective of where we are in the cycle, we’re going to be advantaged versus the rest of industry,” he said black onyx cufflinks square. Woods joined a conference call with analysts this morning for the first time since becoming CEO two years ago. Production declines have been a significant issue in previous quarters for Exxon and it is a “positive sign” that production improved in the fourth quarter, said Muhammed Ghulam, analyst with Raymond James. But he noted the earnings beat was “partially driven by one-time asset sale gains of more than $800 million” from a refinery sale..

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. job growth surged in January, with employers hiring the most workers in 11 months, pointing to underlying strength in the economy despite an uncertain outlook that has left the Federal Reserve wary about more interest rate hikes this year. The Labor Department said its closely watched monthly employment report on Friday showed no “discernible” impact on job growth from a 35-day partial government shutdown, while acknowledging it was unable to quantify the effect on private industry black onyx cufflinks square.

But the longest shutdown in history, which ended a week ago, pushed up the unemployment rate to a seven-month high of 4.0 percent. The report came two days after the Fed signaled its three-year interest rate hike campaign might be ending because of rising headwinds to the economy, including financial market volatility and softening global growth black onyx cufflinks square. The brisk pace of hiring suggested still strong momentum in the economy, a theme that was also underscored by a separate report showing a pickup in manufacturing activity in January..

Wage gains, however, slowed, pointing to tame inflation. “The Fed chickened out on further rate hikes this year and boy are they ever misreading the tea leaves on where the economy is going next,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “U.S. companies have not let up one bit on their hiring in response to risks out there in the world economy.”. Nonfarm payrolls jumped by 304,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since February 2018, the Labor Department said black onyx cufflinks square. Job growth was boosted by hiring at construction sites, retailers and business services as well as at restaurants, hotels and amusement parks..