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Default Risk Drops to Lowest in 2 Years, Moody’s Says

The number of U.S. companies at greatest risk of default dropped to the lowest level in two years as Federal Reserve efforts bolstered the economy, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Companies rated at or below B3 with a negative outlook declined to 195 as of Sept. 1 from a high of 288 in June 2009, Moody’s said in a report. The B3 rating is six steps below investment grade. Clear Channel Communications Inc. and Energy Future Holdings Corp., formerly named TXU Corp., were among the biggest companies on the list.