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Congress: S&P's warning

The two parties didn't quite see eye to eye on the meaning of that Standard & Poor's negative rating yesterday. The Hill: "Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle appeared to dig in their heels following the S&P announcement, in both the debate over raising the debt ceiling and their own preferred methods for reducing deficits."

The New York Times says that although S&P “did not actually lower its highest AAA rating on the country’s debt, it was the first time since the S.& P. started assigning outlooks in 1989 that the country was given an outlook that was something other than stable. While it had not been completely unexpected, the S.& P. decision shifted the nation’s deficit debate out of the political arena — at least for the day — and thrust it on Wall Street. The action spooked investors, sending the three main stock indexes down more than 1 percent.