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U.S. Companies at Risk of Default Near Crisis Peak, Says Moody's

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The number of U.S. companies that have the highest risk of defaulting on their debt is nearing a peak not seen since the height of the financial crisis. 

With the energy industry crumbling amid record low oil prices, the number of companies with the lowest credit ratings reached 264 as of Feb. 1, just shy of the high of 291 set in April 2009, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service Wednesday. That’s a 44 percent jump in the past 12 months, Moody’s said.