EARNINGS: Better & Better

As U.S. corporations turned in more first-quarter earnings reports last week, their performance so far this year looked better & better. General Motors Corp. reported sales of $1.2 billion, the greatest in history. So were its profits: at $136.7 million (v. $96.4 million in 1948-3 first quarter), they were running at $1.5 million a day.

The steel industry was not far behind-U.S. Steel turned in a net of $49.9 million, UP 79% from the 1948 quarter. It also showed the best profit since 1929. Bethlehem Steel's $33.1 million represented a whopping 114% gain, and other companies did nearly as well,...

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