Spending Cuts in Focus after Fiscal Cliff Deal Is Signed: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include spending cuts as President Obama and congressional Republicans must hash out the issue of reducing the deficit, now that the "fiscal cliff" deal has been reached.

The agreement on the so-called fiscal cliff, which was approved late Tuesday by the House of Representatives, is seen as a victory for Obama, who won his re-election on vows to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Through the agreement, taxes will be raised on individuals making over $400,000 per year and couples who make over $450,000.

But now, the focus turns to the issues of spending cuts and raising the nation's debt ceiling. While Obama signed the fiscal cliff deal into law late Wednesday, it will likely still be weeks until the debt-ceiling debate is settled. The deal did not include a provision to raise the debt ceiling and scheduled spending cuts have been delayed by two months, which means another stand-off between the Democratic administration and Republican-controlled House is very likely in the coming months.


Moody's is trending as the credit rating agency has weighed in on the fiscal cliff deal.

Moody's Investor Services said in a statement that U.S. lawmakers will risk a possible downgrade of the country's "Aaa" credit rating in the coming months if additional steps are not taken to reduce the deficit. While Moody's is encouraging Congress to come up with a plan to lower the deficit, it said it expects lawmakers will take the steps necessary to do so.

Moody's had warned in September that it would likely cut its rating by one notch if the budget negotiations failed at the end of 2012.


Standard and Poor's is also speaking out about the budget agreement. S&P said while it would not change its rating based on the deal, it warned that the agreement did little to put the country's finances on "more sustainable footing." S&P lowered its rating on long-term U.S. debt to "AA+" and assigned a negative outlook to it in August 2011.

On Wednesday, S&P reaffirmed its opinion of the government, saying, "Washington's governance and policymaking had become less stable, less effective and less predictable. We believe that this characterization still holds."


Starbucks ( SBUX) is another popular search. The coffee chain is set to open its first store in Vietnam next month.

Starbucks plans to partner with Hong Kong's Maxim Group to open the store in Ho Chi Minh City, as part of its focus on expanding its presence in Asia. The company opened its first stores in India only months ago, and already has 3,300 in the Asian region. Vietnam marks the company's 12th market across the China and Asia-Pacific region.

Vietnam is the second-largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil. Starbucks says it already buys arabica coffee from Vietnam and plans to source more from the country.


The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.
Brittany joined TheStreet.com TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.

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