Bonds of financially distressed U.S. companies decreased in August, according to a report by Standard & Poor's. Distressed bonds comprised 3.1% of the total amount of high-yield bonds in the U.S. as of Aug. 25, down from 3.2% in July and at its lowest level since April 1998, when it was at 3%. The monthly average was 6.1% in 2005 and 7.4% in 2004. Diane Vazza, managing director and head of global fixed-income research at S&P, said the low figure indicates that U.S. companies are doing well from a cash-flow standpoint.
Telecommunications and automotive have been among the sectors most likely to have distressed debt in recent months, Ms. Vazza said in the report.