S&P

Instant View: S&P revises U.S. outlook to negative

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 18, 2011 9:30 AM
Instant View: S&P revises U.S. outlook to negative

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ratings agency Standard & Poor's revised the U.S. rating outlook to negative from stable after affirming its sovereign rating at 'AAA/A-1+' sovereign credit ratings.

KEY POINTS FROM S&P STATEMENT:

* We have affirmed our 'AAA/A-1+' sovereign credit ratings on the United States of America. * The economy of the U.S. is flexible and highly diversified, the country's effective monetary policies have supported output growth while containing inflationary pressures, and a consistent global preference for the U.S. dollar over all other currencies gives the country unique external liquidity. * Because the U.S. has, relative to its 'AAA' peers, what we consider to be very large budget deficits and rising government indebtedness and the path to addressing these is not clear to us, we have revised our outlook on the long-term rating to negative from stable.

COMMENTS:

TOM PORCELLI, U.S. ECONOMIST, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, NEW YORK

"What the agencies want to see is real steps taken to improve the situation. in the absence of that a downgrade is not far.

"What then Obama administration has done in cutting the 2012 budget recently is to show that he is willing to engage. The ratings agencies have to take that as a positive, but they want to see more.

"Our call is for the 10-year yield to go to 4 percent by the end of the year on inflation and growth alone. That does not even account for issues surrounding the debt. Today may be the first day that the bond market starts to price in these budget issues."

JOHN BRADY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MF GLOBAL, CHICAGO

"It's not an issue that is going to affect us today or tomorrow but the fact of the matter is, is room going to be made or not to get the fiscal house at least in some order during debt ceiling negotiations?

"This is tape bomb. It doesn't come as a complete surprise to the markets however seeing it in black and white print it is going to shake the market up for sure. You see the dollar down a bit, gold getting bid...and a break of 1298 on the S&P could send it to 1285 in the course of the week."

HUGH JOHNSON, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER OF HUGH JOHNSON ADVISORS LLC IN ALBANY, NEW YORK

"The simple thing to say is this is a big surprise. We've all known that credit conditions in the U.S. are borderline at best. The numbers compare with some of the more troubled countries in Europe -- if you look at deficit as a percentage of GDP or debt as a percentage of GDP. So we know that they are borderline but we didn't expect S&P would take this action, at least I didn't. It is going to put a lot of pressure on the Obama administration to move faster at reducing the deficits, or cutting spending and possibly increasing taxes. So it will put pressure on the Republicans as well. There will be pressure on Washington. It is not good news and it is not good news because to move toward austerity when the U.S. economy is not on sound footing is not a good idea. This comes incidentally right after the IMF has downgraded its view of the global economy. So it is likely to stir those worries or concerns about global growth. Not good news.

"They have good reason to be skeptical or worried. So this is going to put pressure on policy makers -- democrats and republicans alike -- to get their act together. And I'm not sure the timing of getting their act together is that good. And again, It is that idea of austerity before the economy is on sound footing."

DOMINICK CHIRICHELLA, SENIOR PARTNER, ENERGY MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE, NEW YORK;

"We came in today with not a whole not new over the weekend. The geopolitical risk was stable with Nigerian elections coming in O.K. So what we're seeing is a continuation of the downward correction that started last week but paused midweek because of the inventory numbers.

"We will check the $107 a barrel technical support level today and if the momentum continues on the equities side, we will hit $103 a barrel soon."

LOU BRIEN, MARKET STRATEGIST, DRW TRADING, CHICAGO

"The rating is the same, but the headline has enough of a shock value. The initial reaction is that this is negative for dollar assets across the board."

CHRIS DILLMAN, ANALYST, TRADITION ENERGY, CONNECTICUT

"In oil markets we haven't seen much reaction to S&P. This obviously could lead to a weakening of the dollar. That could push oil prices higher."

MARKET REACTION:

STOCKS: U.S. stock index futures add to losses.

BONDS: U.S. bond prices fall.

FOREX: The dollar trims gains versus euro.