US markets fall sharply after S&P downgrade
NEW YORK - The decision of a credit rating agency to downgrade the U.S. government's rating is jolting Wall Street today, and markets around the world.
The Dow has been down by more than 500 points in afternoon trading.
S&P downgraded the long-term U.S. government credit rating by one notch late Friday.
The move wasn't a surprise but it came as investors were already feeling nervous about a weak U.S. economy, European debt problems and Japan's recovery from its March earthquake.
Prices for gold and Treasurys are rising because they're seen as safer investments.
Gold rose above $1,700 per ounce for the first time.