Standard & Poor's assigned a "negative" outlook to U.S. government debt, sending stocks tumbling worldwide. The credit rating agency said there is a one-in-three chance that the debt will be downgraded within two years. "We believe there is a material risk that U.S. policy makers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium- and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013," S&P said in a report. While some say the move could help spur a bipartisan deal to reduce the deficit, some lawmakers refuse to budge in the debate over raising the debt ceiling and regarding their own preferred methods for reducing deficits.
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