China posts the biggest drop in exports in four-and-a-half years and the biggest trade deficit in two years, weighing on stocks.» Read More
Stocks erased nearly all of their losses for the year after investors interpreted comments from the Federal Reserve to mean that an interest rate hike is less likely.The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq turned positive for the year, erasing all of last month's selloff, while Dow Jones Industrials is still down slightly for the year.
Communities on Australia's north-west coast were battered on Friday by a severe tropical cyclone which reportedly killed one and tore roofs from homes with destructive winds and heavy flooding.
Cyclones off the coast of Western Australia forced the shut down on Thursday of almost half the country's oil production as well as a major iron ore export terminal, with more closures seen as two storms approach oil fields.
BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, and Rio Tinto, the world's second largest iron ore producer, are said to be considering separate $40 billion offers for Alcoa. But some analysts question the likelihood of such a deal.