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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 19,804.72 -22.05 -0.11%
Nasdaq 5,555.66 16.93 0.31%
S&P 500 2,271.89 4.00 0.18%
Treasuries 2.39 0.06 2.66%
Data as of 4:15am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 22.63 0.58 2.63%
Ford Motor Co 12.41 0.00 0.00%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 6.98 -0.03 -0.43%
Citigroup Inc 57.39 -0.99 -1.70%
Reynolds American In... 58.00 0.32 0.55%
Data as of Jan 18
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