CreditWatch highlights the potential direction of a short or long-term rating. It focuses on identifiable events and short-term trends that cause ratings to be placed under special surveillance by Standard & Poor's analytical staff. These may include mergers, recapitalizations, voter referendums, regulatory action, or anticipated operating developments. Ratings appear on CreditWatch when such an event or a deviation from an expected trend occurs and additional information is necessary to evaluate the current rating. A listing, however, does not mean a rating change is inevitable, and whenever possible, a range of alternative ratings will be shown. CreditWatch is not intended to include all ratings under review, and rating changes may occur without the ratings having first appeared on CreditWatch. The ?positive? designation means that a rating may be raised; ?negative? means a rating may be lowered; and ?developing? means that a rating may be raised, lowered, or affirmed.

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