EARNINGS: Crest of the Wave

Despite the shoals of rising costs and material shortages, U.S. industry bowled along through the third quarter with all sails set—and made port with record profits. By last week, with more than 200 reports from big corporations already in, third-quarter profits were running 45% above the same 1949 period—when business was snapping back from a recession. For stockholders, that was only half the story. Scores of companies whose dividends had not kept pace with the high profits last week boosted their regular dividends or declared extras.

Pretty Picture. To nobody's great surprise, the television set makers made one of the...

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