In a preliminary ruling ahead of a final decision expected by Monday, a federal judge has permitted the Justice Department to proceed with its lawsuit against Standard & Poor's. The lawsuit alleges that the rating agency defrauded customers by inflating credit ratings. The DOJ is arguing that S&P lied to customers when claiming its ratings were objective and not affected by conflicts of interest. S&P said that its claims were "puffery" and hence could not constitute fraud.

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