18 Apr '11, 10pm

US stocks sharply lower after US debt warning

NEW YORK: US stocks closed sharply lower on Monday after ratings agency Standard & Poor's issued its first warning on US debt, citing Washington's inability to tackle looming fiscal deficits. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 140.24 points (1.14 percent) to 12,201.59, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite skidded 29.27 points (1.06 percent) to 2,735.38. The broad-market S&P 500 stock index shed 14.54 points (1.10 percent) at 1,305.14. Shortly before the market open, Standard & Poor's revised its outlook on US sovereign debt to "negative" from "stable" - the first ever challenge to Washington's top-line AAA grading. Voicing strong doubts over the ability of battling Republicans and Democrats to agree a credible plan on cutting the fiscal deficit, S&P gave the country until 2013 to act or face losing its coveted rating. "Because the US has, relative to its 'AAA' peer...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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