Standard & Poor's announced on Monday that its credit rating for the United States was affirmed at AAA (the highest level possible) but that it was revising the outlook for this rating to "negative."
In this context, that was a warning "that we could lower our long-term rating on the U.S. within two years" (see Page 5 of the report). This news temporarily roiled equity markets around the world, although the bond markets largely shrugged it off.
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