* US: Fitch lowered the nation’s credit outlook to negative following a congressional committee’s failure to agree on deficit cuts. Fitch added that this move reflects ‘declining confidence that timely fiscal measures necessary to place US public finances on a sustainable path will be forthcoming’ (BBG).
* EUROPE: Moody’s Investors Service said it’s considering lowering debt ratings for banks in 15 European nations to reflect the potential removal of government support. (BBG)
* RBS: The bank’s RBS Financial Products unit will pay $52 million to settle claims it financed, purchased and bundled unfair residential loans, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said. (BBG)
* UNILEVER: Staff at Unilever in the UK have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action over the closure of the Anglo-Dutch group’s final salary pension scheme. (BBG)
* EFG EUROBANK ERGASIAS: The second-biggest bank in Greece is in “due diligence phase with multiple bidders” for its Turkish unit Eurobank Tekfen AS and expects a final bidder “no later than January,” executives said on a conference call with analysts. (BBG)
* COLRUYT: Belgium’s biggest discount food retailer reported a steeper-than-estimated drop in fiscal first-half profit as its expansion in France turned unprofitable on price cuts and accelerated store openings. The company said its forecast for full-year profit close to last year’s 338 million euros “remains a challenge.” (BBG)
* THALES: Thales will exercise its option to up its ownership in DCNS (naval yard biz) to 35% of DCNS from 25%, costing €260m. (Reuters)
* OHL, ACS, FCC: The cancellation of the Metro North (Dublin) has failed the expectations of OHL, ACS and FCC which were in the final awarding stage. The project was worth €3B (Expansión)
* DEUFOL: Chief Executive Officer Andreas Bargende stepped down with immediate effect, the provider of logistics services said. His responsibilities will be taken over by management-board members Detlef Huebner and Tillmann Blaschke. (BBG)
* UPGRADES: G4S PLC (HSBC). Genworth Financial (Citi). MITIE (CS). Invensys (Barclays). SKF (JPM). Vienna Insurance, Air France-KLM (MS). (BBG)
* DOWNGRADES: Securitas (HSBC). Daimler, Formosa Petrochemical (DB). Inditex, Mothercare (UBS). Fiat (Citi). Brisa (Exane). Mapfre (MS). Sirbirskiy (GS). (BBG)
* CORPORATE DIARY: BASF SE Strategy Day (London), BSkyB AGM, Edenred Investor Day, Amec Investor Day, Remy Cointreau Q2 Results, National Bank of Greece Q3 Results, Motor Oil Hellas Q3 Results, Marfin Popular Bank Q3 Results, Basilea Pharmaceutica Shareholders Meeting, Aicultural Bank of Greece Q3 Results (Date TBC).
* MACRO DIARY: UK – Nat’ Wide House Prices (7:00), Net Consumer Credit, Net Lending Sec. on Dwelling, Mortgage Approvals, M4 Money Supply (9:30), EC – Consumer Confidence, Economic Confidence, Industrial Confidence, Services Confidence (9:30). Speakers: ECB announces allotment in 7-day main refinancing tender (10:30), ECB calls for bids in 3-months tender (14:30).