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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 24,651.74 143.08 0.58%
Nasdaq 6,936.58 80.06 1.17%
S&P 500 2,675.81 23.80 0.90%
Treasuries 2.36 0.01 0.38%
Data as of 7:42pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 29.04 0.31 1.08%
General Electric Co 17.82 0.18 1.02%
Oracle Corp 48.30 -1.89 -3.77%
Micron Technology In... 42.40 0.16 0.38%
Microsoft Corp 86.85 2.16 2.55%
Data as of Dec 15
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