Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook on General Electric ( GE - Get Report) and its units, including General Electric Capital Corp., to negative from stable, but affirmed its AAA long-term and A-1+ short-term credit ratings on the company.

The ratings agency said Wednesday that the outlook revision reflects, in part, concerns relating to GE Capital's "future performance and funding."

S&P credit analyst Robert Schulz wrote in a research report that, "In addition, fundamentals-based earnings and cash flow could decline sufficiently during the next two years to warrant a downgrade. We will continue to monitor GECC's success in executing on its funding and liquidity plans in light of capital market turmoil."

The rating affirmation is based on GE's scale, diversity and record of managing its businesses in a variety of difficult markets, S&P said. "GE has not remained static in the face of negative economic and capital market conditions that will persist in 2009," the report continued.

Shares of GE fell 8.2% to $15.96 following S&P's action.

This article was written by a staff member of