Investors will be anxiously watching when the New York Stock Exchange market opens Monday morning to see what effect Standard and Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating will have on trading. The stock market fell by 7.1 percent last week, before S&P issued its report of the downgrade at the end of the day on Friday. The market fell despite the bill signed into law last Tuesday that allowed the raising of the debt limit to prevent the government from defaulting on its financial obligations, accompanied by a deficit reduction package aimed at trimming $2.1 trillion of deficit spending over the next 10 years.
The S&P downgrade of the U.S. government's credit rating from AAA to AA+ set off alarm bells in foreign markets as well, as the news coincided with increased concerns over the economic crisis in Europe. Finance ministers of both the Group of 7 and Group of 20 nations were conferring by phone, Reuters reported, while the governing council of the European Central Bank was also holding an emergency conference call late Sunday. The central bank was reported to be considering buying Spanish and Italian bonds to keep the cost of borrowing for those two counties manageable.
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