EARNINGS: Down, but . . .

As the first-quarter earnings began to pour out last week, the trend was down, as expected by businessmen. But what was not expected was the surprising fact that in some industries, profits were actually climbing, some to new records. Hard hit were the durable-goods industries, railroads and raw materials, while many of the consumer-goods makers hummed along scarcely bothered by the recession.

Pittsburgh Steel operated at a loss in the first quarter and expects a glum second quarter, even though "we have several indications that the bottom in demand was passed some time ago." Lukens Steel, hit by the slowdown...

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