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Record credit downgrades in '02
Through Tuesday, there were 648 U.S. corporate ratings cuts vs. 645 in all of '01, said Moody's. It blamed telecom and utility downgrades. The '03 credit outlook should be brighter, Moody's said. But long-term investment-grade corporate bond yields have slid to 6.84%, the lowest level since '74, as lower Treasury yields offset credit woes.
Merger deal decline similar to '01
Like last year, this year's dollar volume of announced mergers in the U.S. plunged more than 40%. The $434 bil total as of Dec. 20 is also on track to being the lowest since '94. The number of deals is down 15% to 6,443 from '01 …