EARNINGS: Sweetened Pot

More big companies reported their first-half earnings last week and the 1950 profits of U.S. business grew more impressive than ever:

¶ General Motors turned in a six-month net of $485.2 million, 59% greater than in the 1949 period. G.M., which had already set a record for U.S. corporate profits with a first-quarter net of $212.3 million, in the second quarter smashed its own record with profits of $272.8 million.

¶ Combined first-half profits of 17 U.S. steel companies totaled $327.6 million, a gain of 17.6% over the 1949 half. Big Steel alone chalked up a 28% gain, for a...

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