VIENNA, Austria (AP) — The just-ended OPEC meeting was about more than what a barrel of oil can fetch on the open market as the global economic picture grows dim.

OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia gave a nod, at least symbolically, to fellow member states that have grown increasingly uneasy about the rapid decline in crude prices. The Saudis attempted to placate rival Iran, and laid the groundwork for a potential new alliance with Russia, the world's second largest oil producer.

But OPEC's announcement that it would cut output by more than 500,000 barrels by sticking closer to quotas did little to change what most consumers care most about — the cost of filling up a car with gas or heating a home over the winter.

Benchmark oil prices were on a downward course Wednesday, shedding 68 cents to fetch $102.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude briefly touched $98.10.