The flood of first-half-year earnings that poured out last week still had that rich, clotted-cream look. With U.S. industry at peak production, it was no surprise that profits, in many cases, were higher than last year's first six months. The National City Bank of New York totted up earnings of 350 companies, found that they were up 11%. But the notable fact was that second-quarter earnings this year were but slightly better than first quarter. If the overall picture was still rosier than last year, it was due mainly to one rampaging...

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