US DEBT OUTLOOK: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services upgraded its outlook Monday for the U.S. government's long-term debt. It raised its outlook to "Stable" from "Negative," suggesting it's less likely to downgrade U.S. debt in the near future.
RATIONALE: The credit rating agency cited the government's strengthened finances, a recovering U.S. economy and some easing of Washington's political gridlock.
RATINGS AFFIRMED: S&P reaffirmed the government's "AA+" long-term and "A-1+" short-term unsolicited sovereign credit ratings. The long-term rating remains a notch below S&P's top grade. S&P had downgraded the U.S. government's long-term credit rating in 2011 after a standoff in Congress over whether to raise America's borrowing limit.