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S&P Prompts $1 Trillion Stock Loss With Rating Belied by Bonds

Shareholders in U.S.-listed companies can thank Standard & Poor’s for making them $1 trillion poorer after the rating firm earlier this month lowered the grade on Treasury securities for the first time to AA+ from AAA. Now, some of the most experienced investors say the stock market losses make no sense.

While the benchmark index for U.S. equities dropped as much as 6.7 percent, or $1.03 trillion, since the Aug. 5 downgrade, 10-year Treasuries rallied the most in 28 months and the government was able to finance its quarterly debt obligations at the lowest interest rates ever. The S&P 500 fell to 12.2 times earnings the first day after the downgrade, the lowest since March 2009, while Treasuries have returned 2 percent since.