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An oil giant’s Wall Street fall: The world is sending the industry signals, but is Exxon listening?

(Inside Climate News, 26 Aug 2020) The company, which dropped off the Dow this week, has remained defiant as the oil market has plummeted and its competitors have begun to shift gears.

In case anyone doubted the existential threats bearing down on the oil industry, Wall Street delivered another sign that oil and gas companies are in deep trouble this week, with the announcement that ExxonMobil was falling off the Dow Jones Industrial Average stock index. While the decisive blow might have come from the novel coronavirus, which has sent oil demand plummeting, it's becoming harder to dispute that the industry may be in irreversible decline, as governments accelerate efforts to tackle climate change and move away from fossil fuels.

The companies included in the Dow Jones index are meant to represent the might of American commerce, and Exxon and its predecessor Standard Oil of New Jersey had held a secure place on the list since 1928, the longest run of any company.

On Monday, however, the keeper of the list announced Exxon would be replaced by Salesforce.com, the software company, as part of a shakeup prompted by a stock split by Apple. It's hard to imagine a more symbolic end to Exxon's tenure.

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Inside Climate News, 26 Aug 2020: An oil giant’s Wall Street fall: The world is sending the industry signals, but is Exxon listening?