U.S. stocks finished flat to slightly higher Friday on conflicting reports about progress on a trade deal with China, despite euphoria over Conservative Boris Johnson’s huge victory in U.K.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 3.6 points to 28,135.65 while the S&P 500 added 0.19 of a point to 3,168.76 and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 17.56 points to 8,734.88. For the week, the Dow gained 0.4%.

Volume on the New York Stock Exchange totaled 3.03 billion shares with 1,495 issues advancing, 179 setting new highs, and 1,458 declining, with 18 setting new lows.

Active movers were led by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Danaher Corp. (DHR) and General Electric (GE)

In mid-morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that a phase one trade deal with China had been reached, including some tariff rollbacks.

“We have agreed to a very large phase one deal with China,” he tweeted. “They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of agricultural product, energy, and manufactured goods, plus much more. The 25% tariffs will remain as is, with 7.5% put on much of the remainder.”

Trump added that “penalty tariffs" set to kick in Sunday will not be applied because "we made the deal. We will begin negotiations on the phase two deal immediately rather than waiting until after the 2020 election. This is an amazing deal for all.”

 

 

CNBC reported Chinese officials said U.S. and China reached an agreement on the text for a phase one trade deal and both sides will try to sign it “as quickly as possible.” But some details still were unclear. Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen did not say when the U.S. would roll back tariffs.

Earlier Friday the Wall Street Journal reported China said a trade agreement with the U.S. has not been completed yet, despite Trump’s signoff.

Trump quickly blasted the Journal report. “The Wall Street Journal story on the China deal is completely wrong, especially their statement on tariffs. Fake news. They should find a better leaker!” he tweeted.

 

 

Also earlier, Gao Feng, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, told reporters in Beijing the negotiators "have maintained close communication.”

However, Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of China’s Global Times, tweeted had been no confirmation of any deal out of Chinese media and the situation remained “delicate.”

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson and the Conservatives won the British election in a landslide that gave the Tories a mandate to remove Britain from the European Union by Jan. 31.

“We will get Brexit done on time by the 31st of January, no ifs, no buts, no maybes,” Johnson told supporters at a London rally. “Leaving the European Union as one United Kingdom, taking back control of our laws, borders, money, our trade, immigration system, delivering on the democratic mandate of the people.”

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said Friday that while the economic outlook for the U.S. is good, the central bank should respond to any unexpected events.

“We need to be ready to change our views based on the data,” Williams told a group of students in New York.

When asked what the Fed could do to stimulate growth in a low-interest environment, Williams said the central bank can say it is "not planning to raise interest rates for a long time.”

Williams made no specific remarks on monetary policy outlook.

Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in November to $528 billion from the prior month, the Commerce Department said. Economists had forecast a 0.5% increase. Excluding the volatile auto and gas sectors, retail sales were flat in November.

The Labor Department said import prices rose 0.2% in November, driven by higher prices for petroleum products, following a 0.5% decline in October. For the 12 months through November, import prices decreased by 1.3% after falling 3% in October. Excluding the volatile fuel and food sectors, import prices slipped 0.1% last month.

Overnight in Asia, markets all surged higher. The Hang Seng gained 2.57% while Japan’s Nikkei-225 rose 2.55% and China’s Shanghai Composite climbed 1.78%

European markets all closed higher with the FTSE 100 gaining 1.9%, Germany's DAX rising 0.68% and France's CAC 40 advancing 0.72%.

Crude oil futures gained 1.05% to $59.81 per barrel and Brent crude was down 0.44% at $64.93. Gold futures rose 0.53%.

The euro slipped 0.11% at $1.119 while the pound sterling surged 1.34% at $1.3341.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped 4.11% to 1.819% while yield on the 30-year Treasury fell 2.93% to 2.25%.