December 13, 2019

Wall Street treads water amid US-China trade confusion

Wall Street

Wall Street: US stocks wobbled at the open on Friday, with investors unsure which way to turn as optimism over a US-China trade deal once again turned to hazy uncertainty.

The cautious open followed Thursday’s rally, which was driven by media reports Washington and Beijing had at last struck a partial deal to avert a fresh round of tariffs that are due to kick in on Sunday and de-escalate their trade war.

But a White House briefing late Thursday never materialized and Chinese officials have so far not confirmed any deal.

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A media briefing in Beijing was scheduled to occur just as trading began in New York at 1430 GMT but this was again delayed, indicating developments remained very much in flux.

About 10 minutes into the day’s trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average and tech-heavy Nasdaq were both flat at 28,125.16 and 8,720.90.

Meanwhile, the broader S&P 500 was down about a tenth of a percent at 3,167.03.

“There is an acute awareness that none of the folks in power to confirm the reported trade deal have confirmed it yet,” analyst Patrick O’Hare wrote at

Among individual companies, Oracle and Broadcom were each down around three percent on fading hopes for the sales outlook.