Fitch Ratings said an annualized corporate-default rate of 1% belies uncertainty of the outlook for the rest of 2010. "The low default rate does give some comfort," said Mariarosa Verde, Fitch's managing director in credit-market research. "The biggest driver is that the economy has bounced back stronger than people anticipated. Now it's a question of whether the improvement is sustainable -- 2010 is still very much a transition year."

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