On Friday, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to 'AA+' and assigned a negative outlook.

As a result, it lowered to 'AA+' from 'AAA' its long-term counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on the member companies of five U.S. insurance groups: Knights of Columbus, New York Life, Northwestern Mutual, Teachers Insurance & Annuity Assoc. of America (TIAA), and United Services Automobile Assoc. (USAA). The outlooks on the ratings on all of these companies are negative. S&P also said it lowered the ratings on approximately $17 billion of securities issued by New York Life, Northwestern Mutual, TIAA, USAA and their affiliates.

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