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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

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Index Last Change % Change
Dow 20,596.72 -59.86 -0.29%
Nasdaq 5,828.74 11.05 0.19%
S&P 500 2,343.98 -1.98 -0.08%
Treasuries 2.40 -0.02 -0.74%
Data as of 5:15pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 23.12 0.05 0.22%
Micron Technology In... 28.43 1.96 7.40%
Advanced Micro Devic... 13.70 -0.09 -0.65%
Ford Motor Co 11.62 -0.05 -0.43%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 5.22 0.13 2.55%
Data as of Mar 24
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