One of the country’s three major credit rating agencies signaled Tuesday that it could downgrade the U.S. rating, citing the impasse in Washington over raising the debt ceiling.
Fitch Ratings put the U.S. government‘s AAA credit rating on “rating watch negative,” which means there’s a higher probability of a rating change, and that it could be negative.
“Although Fitch continues to believe that the debt ceiling will be raised soon, the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default,” the rating agency wrote in a statement.
S&P 500 futures fell 9.6 points while Dow Jones industrial average futures sank 60 points and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 7.5 points after the announcement Tuesday.
The three main credit rating agencies have all warned, in varying degrees, that the United States’ rating could be cut if it hit the Oct. 17 deadline when Washington is expected to run out of cash to pay its bills.