Half US bond ratings now junk, but downgrades ease


By Dena Aubin NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - A hailstorm of downgrades has left more than half of U.S. company credit ratings at junk status, by one agency's count, yet a five-year slide in credit quality could be in its closing stages. As companies struggle to repair balance sheets laden with debt during the booming 1990s, recent data are showing glimmers of hope. Interest expense has fallen, thanks to tumbling short-term interest rates, cash levels are rising and revenues as a percent ...

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