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Stocks pop to records as US-China tout trade progress

Jonathan Garber

Stocks rose across the board on Friday after the U.S. and China reached a partial trade agreement that further deescalates the 21-month-long trade war between the world's two economic superpowers.

The deal includes promises from the Chinese to buy $50 billion of U.S. agriculture, stronger intellectual-property protections and language to end China's currency manipulation. In return, the U.S. will not place 15 percent tariffs on $160 billion of Chinese goods on Sunday.

During a mid-morning press briefing, Chinese officials said "major progress made" of the first phase of the deal.

President Trump followed up with a tweet stating "The 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..."

Earlier he also touted the strength of the U.S. economy in a tweet.

Trade sensitive names like Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar, Deere and Intel were in focus.

Traders were keeping a close eye on retailers after November retail sales fell short of expectations. Sales rose 0.2 percent versus last month, missing the 0.5 percent gain that economists surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating.

Elsewhere, Delta Air Lines climbed after raising its revenue forecast for 2020. The airline said it expects revenue to grow between 4 percent and 6 percent to about $49 billion next year.

American Airlines delayed the return of the 737 Max through April 6, pushing back its prior deadline which had canceled those flights through March 4.

Commodities rallied with West Texas Intermediate crude oil up 0.9 percent and gold higher by 0.2 percent to $1,475 an ounce.

U.S. Treasurys posted modest gains, pushing the yield on the 10-year note down 2.4 basis points to 1.875 percent.

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The British pound surged Friday, up 1.6 percent to 1.3370 versus the U.S. dollar, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party claimed a robust majority in Parliament.

That would alleviate uncertainty by giving Johnson more political capital to push for the United Kingdom's departure from the 28-nation European Union by the end of January, according to a research note by Evercore analysts.

London's FTSE gained 1.9 percent, Germany's DAX was higher by 0.9 percent and France's CAC added 1 percent.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei jumped 2.6 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 2.6 percent and the Shanghai Composite 1.8 percent.

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FOX Business' Ken Martin and The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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