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S&P downgrades Greek debt to junk status

By Chavon Sutton, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Standard and Poor's downgraded the sovereign debt ratings for both Greece and Portugal on Tuesday, citing weak "macroeconomic structures," with the Greek debt lowered to junk status.

Greece's long-term sovereign debt rating was reduced to a rating of "BB+" from "BBB+." The short-term rating was lowered to "B" from "A-2."

It was the second downgrade in as many weeks for the debt-laden nation.

Separately, Portugal's rating was reduced to "A-" from "A+," which is still considered investment grade.

The downgrades came after Greece last week announced it would finally tap a European Union-International Monetary Fund sponsored $53 billion bailout plan.

The news sent U.S. stock markets down sharply, as investor fears of a debt crisis contagion in Europe spread.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,691.57 -139.19 -0.78%
Nasdaq 4,750.43 -54.86 -1.14%
S&P 500 2,054.43 -21.38 -1.03%
Treasuries 1.84 -0.00 -0.05%
Data as of 2:38pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 14.52 -0.26 -1.79%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 13.80 1.14 9.00%
Apple Inc 93.04 -1.79 -1.89%
Ford Motor Co 13.59 -0.50 -3.55%
Microsoft Corp 49.96 0.06 0.12%
Data as of 2:23pm ET
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