u.s. credit rating downgraded twice

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Wrong, Again: S&P Upgrades U.S. Outlook

Any time the big ratings agencies give the "All Clear," grab your wallet. Their record of closing the gate after the horses have left the barn is better than their record of getting things right ahead of time.

Now Standard and Poor's has upgraded the U.S. economy. That surely signals trouble -- and it's there for anyone to see. If they want to look.

There are also a few key opportunities for investors willing to ignore the herd...

Why the Market Yawned at the S&P's U.S. Credit Rating Outlook Upgrade

When Standard & Poor's upgraded the outlook for U.S. credit rating from negative to stable on Monday, Wall Street hardly seemed to notice.

The mild market reaction was a stark contrast to the sharp downturn back in August 2011, when the Congressional standoff over the raising the federal debt ceiling prompted S&P cut the U.S. credit rating to AA+ from the top-tier AAA.

But while the improved outlook is welcome, a return of the U.S. credit rating to AAA status isn't expected any time soon.

"Generally these things don't happen in just a few years," said Nikola Swann, S&P's sovereign ratings director.

S&P listed the fiscal cliff deal and stronger-than-expected private-sector contributions to economic growth, combined with increased remittances to the government by the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as reasons for the upgrade to the U.S. credit rating outlook.

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