Both the local and the US markets started the week stronger following a surge in the oil price. However news mid-week that Saudi Arabia won't be cutting its oil production saw the oil price slide and stock prices tumble. The local market fell nearly 2% on Wednesday, with BHP falling more than 8%, its worst trading day since 2008, as the company announced a massive loss, a huge cut to it's dividend and a bleak outlook for iron ore prices, despite its recent rally back above $US50. Banking stocks were also sharply lower. The US market rallied towards the end of the week following the release of improving manufacturing data, whilst the local market was more muted as concerns over China persist. The US market finished the week nearly 2% higher, whilst the local market fell around 1.5%.