Obligationer som blir värdelösa fortsätter att öka vilket brukar vara första steget mot en recession
Defaults are only likely to increase over the rest of the year, predicts Diane Vazza, S&P's head of global fixed income research.
Vazza says the 12-month rate will rise to 3.9 percent by December in a base case scenario. And in what Vazza calls a "pessimistic," but plausible, chain of events, the default rate could rise to 5.2 percent. That would correspond to 70 U.S. defaults during 2016.
To be sure, default rates have looked far worse in the past. Speculative-grade defaults rose above 10 percent in the wake of the tech bubble, and speedily surged to 12 percent in the credit crisis.