Markets have muted reaction to long-awaited China trade deal

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2019, file photo trader Michael Urkonis works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 13. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2019, file photo trader Michael Urkonis works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The U.S. stock market opens at 9:30 a.m. EST on Friday, Dec. 13. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK, NY – Wall Street closed out a listless day Friday with tiny gains and more record highs for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

The U.S. and China revealed they have reached an initial deal in their long-running trade war. The “Phase 1” agreement means that the U.S. won't impose new tariffs on Chinese goods that had been set to kick in this weekend. Investors’ anxiety over the prospects of such an escalation in the trade war contributed to a sluggish start for the market this month.

President Donald Trump and Chinese officials made separate statements confirming the agreement Friday. Media reports signaling that a deal was close spurred a rally a day earlier that sent the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to record highs. That likely led to the muted reaction in the markets Friday.

“People obviously were excited about what they heard yesterday and now what you're seeing is a consolidation now that it's actually been confirmed,” said Lisa Erickson, head of the traditional investment group at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

Technology companies, which rely heavily on China for sales as well as parts, led the gainers Friday, outweighing losses in banks, energy stocks and elsewhere. Bond prices rose, pulling yields lower.

The S&P 500 index added a mere 0.23 points, or less than 0.1%, to reach an all-time high of 3,168.80.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 3.33 points, or less than 0.1%, to 28,135.38.

The Nasdaq, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, rose 17.56 points, or 0.2%, to 8,734.88.