NEW YORK — After months of waiting, markets had a muted reaction to news Friday that the US and China had reached an initial deal on trade.
The agreement to a “Phase 1” deal means that the US won’t impose new tariffs on Chinese goods that had been set to kick in this weekend. President Donald Trump and China made separate statements confirming the agreement. Technology companies, which rely heavily on China for sales as well as parts, rose.
Media reports a day earlier that a deal was close sent the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record highs.
Technology companies led the way higher. Those companies rely heavily on China for sales as well as parts and have much to gain from a resolution of the longrunning dispute. Apple climbed 1.2%.
Banks and communications companies fell.
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index was little changed as of 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was also little changed at 28,136. The Nasdaq rose 0.2%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks fell 0.5%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 1.82% from 1.90% late Thursday.
ANALYST’S TAKE: The latest development in trade relations didn’t have much of an impact on the market because it is essentially just a tariff truce, according to Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group. The next phase of the agreement will have to tackle some of the larger issues to actually provide relief from existing tariffs.
“It’s going to be a bigger lift in large part because the president doesn’t really want to take the tariffs off,” Cox said. “That’s going to require much more give on the Chinese part than what is currently in the offer.”
BREXIT BUMP: British stocks and the British pound moved sharply higher after a resounding victory for the Conservative Party eased uncertainty over the nation’s upcoming exit from the European Union. The benchmark FTSE 100 rallied 1.4% and the pound jumped to $1.3326 from $1.3150 late Thursday. Other European markets also rose. Asian markets rose sharply.
STATUS DISLIKE: Facebook fell 1% amid reports that the Federal Trade Commission could block the company from integrating its messaging apps. Facebook has been planning to integrate its messaging apps, including Messenger and What’sApp, since early 2019. Federal regulators are concerned that the plan could make it hard to break up the company should the FTC find that necessary.
Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press