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Standard & Poor's Ratings Services raised IBM Corp.'s long-term credit rating, saying the technology giant's business is strengthening.

The ratings agency lifted IBM's rating one notch to "AA-" from "A+" — both are investment-grade ratings.

IBM's business is increasingly strong because of the company's shift to software and services from hardware, said credit analyst Molly Toll-Reed. Software and services are a more stable and profitable business.

Shares of the company, based in Armonk, N.Y., $1.71 to $194.75 in afternoon trading.

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