S&P cuts Gap to junk status (GPS) by Tomi Kilgore Standard & Poor's cut its long-term credit rating on Gap Inc. (GPS) to non-investment grade status, citing a "protracted record of disappointing sales and earnings." The debt rating agency lowered its rating to "BB+" from an investment-grade "BBB-" rating. S&P removed the debt from "creditwatch," and said the outlook was "stable." The short-term rating was cut to "B" from "A-2." "Management faces significant challenges in turning around the performance of each of its brands, as the weak economy has exacerbated an already poor retail environment," said Diane Shand, and S&P credit analyst. "Because of this, no significant improvement in credit measures is likely to occur in the near term." The stock is now trading down 24 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $13.10. Earlier, the stock shot up to an intraday high of $13.98 after Gap announced a received commitments on a new 2-year bank credit facility (see 1:55 item).