After the bell, Fitch reiterated the US AAA credit rating but changed the outlook from stable to negative.
"The Maastricht treaty set a limit of 60% for Government debt as a Percentage of GDP. As of May, 2011 only 4 of the 17 countries in the Euro-zone are below this requirement. The worst violators of the debt limit requirements are probably obvious: Greece at 157.7%, Italy at 120.3%, Ireland at 112%, Portugal at 101.7%, and Belgium at 97%. (By the way, Belgium debt was downgraded on Friday following downgrades of Portugal and Hungary.)
But readers will probably be surprised by the next two countries which are currently above the Maastricht limit: France currently has 84.7% debt to GDP and Germany is close behind with 82.4%. Both of the two 'fiscal leaders' of Europe have a worse debt to GDP than Spain which is three places better than Germany at 68.1%!
The only countries which currently adhere to the Maastrict treaty limit for debt to GDP are Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Luxembourg, certainly not what most investors would consider the leaders in Europe! The average Euro-zone debt limit as of last May is 87.7%, over 25 percentage points above the required limit. I have gone on a bit too long about this, but the slide really brings home the fact that the treaties of the EU don't need to be tightened, but instead the adherence to these treaties need to be strengthened. Leaders can talk about new requirements all they want, but what good is this talk if no-one is going to adhere to these new requirements anyway?"
Chris Gaffney, The Daily Pfennig, 28 Nov 2011
Gold and silver enjoyed a post-option expiration bounce back to trend.
Markets overall remain headline driven.
"Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right."