U.S. stocks were narrowly mixed at Friday noon on conflicting reports about progress on a trade deal with China, despite euphoria over Boris Johnson’s victory in U.K.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 14.68 points to 28,117.37 while the S&P 500 slipped 1.34 points to 3,167.23 and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 12.59 points to 8,729.9.

In mid-morning, President Donald Trump tweeted that a phase one deal had been reached that included 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 for December 15th will not be charged because of the fact that 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 that Chinese officials said U.S. and China reached an agreement on text for a phase one trade deal and that both sides will try to sign it “as quickly as possible.” But some details were not clear. China’s Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen did not say the U.S. would roll back tariffs.

Earlier Friday the Wall Street Journal reported that China said a trade agreement with the U.S. has not been completed yet, despite President Donald Trump’s signoff on it. 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 Friday, Gao Feng, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Commerce, told reporters in Beijing on Friday that “the economic and trade teams of both sides have maintained close communication.”

However, Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of China’s Global Times, tweeted that there yet had been no confirmation of any deal out of Chinese media and that 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.”

U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Johnson. “Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after Brexit,” he tweeted. “This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U.”

 

 

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.

The Commerce Department said October business inventories rose 0.2% after falling 0.1% in September.

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 were all higher with the FTSE 100 up 1.9% while Germany's DAX rose 0.68% and France's CAC 40 advanced 0.72%.

Crude oil futures gained 1.15% to $59.86 per barrel and Brent crude was up 1.26% at $65.01. Gold futures rose 0.56%.

The euro slipped 0.06% at $1.124 while the pound sterling surged 1.36% at $1.343.