S&P returns GM credit rating to investment grade

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DETROIT (AP) — Standard & Poor's has returned General Motors to investment grade after rating it junk for nearly a decade.

The firm upgraded GM's corporate credit rating Thursday one notch to "BBB-" — its lowest investment grade — from "BB+."

Standard & Poor's Rating Services lowered GM to junk status in 2005, four years before its bankruptcy. The automaker recovered and earned $4.7 billion last year.

S&P says it expects GM will sustain its improving profits in North America and achieve profitability in Europe soon. It also noted GM's strong sales in China.

It says GM's recall of more than 29 million vehicles this year is a negative but will manageable given the automaker's strong liquidity.

Shares in General Motors Co. rose 17 cents to $33.04 in after-hours trading.

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