General Motors recently came to an agreement with the United Auto Workers on a new contract, and it appears at least one ratings agency likes the fine print. Automotive News reports that Standard & Poor's has raised GM's rating from BB- to BB+, while also giving the rating outlook a bump from "positive" to "stable." That ratings bump now makes GM one step below investment grade in the eyes of S&P.

As you might imagine, the ratings jump has everything to do with The General's ability to earn the almighty dollar. S&P said in a statement that GM's two-year profit streak, strong cash flow and solid performance around the globe were the catalysts for the ratings change.

Now that GM has received a pat on the back from S&P, could Ford be next? Looks like it. The ratings agency announced that The Blue Oval will be considered for an upgrade once the company completes its UAW contract talks. S&P currently has Ford rated at BB-.

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