“Where else are you going to put your money?” remarked Joe Libin, a mortgage banker. “We’re growing anemically. We’ve got a debt problem. But at least we’re bobbing along. We’re best-looking of the ugly kids at the prom.”

The ratings firms Moody’s and Fitch have maintained their top ratings on U.S. sovereign debt. [What Now for Treasuries?]

The S&P downgrade only applies to Treasury notes and bonds that mature in more than a year. Short-term Treasuries that mature in a year or less still maintain their original ratings. [The Contrarian: U.S. Treasury ETFs.]

For more information on the Treasuries market, visit our U.S. Treasuries category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.