General Electric Co.'s corproate credit rating of AA+ was affirmed by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, which said it believes GE will divest the non-core assets of GE Capital "in a manner that safely and responsibly protects lenders." The rating outlook is stable. Earlier Friday, GE announced a plan to exit most of its GE Capital finance arm, sell some real estate assets and buy back $50 billion worth of stock. S&P's AA+ rating is one notch below its highest AAA rating. Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service downgraded GE's debt rating on Friday to A1, which is four notches below its highest rating. "We could lower the rating on GE if we believe the company's financial policy is becoming more aggressive," S&P said. "An indication of this would be if GE does not curtail share repurchases or if it engages in additional large acquisitions." GE's stock, which surged 8.3% in premarket trade, had gained 1.8% year to date through Thursday, while the Dow edged up 0.8%.
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