The first big cross section of second-quarter earnings reports confirmed the good news already indicated by scattered early returns. Though some companies and industries were caught in inflation's cost squeeze, sales were better than last year for most, and profits were climbing to new records.

The most optimistic report came from the biggest company of all: American Telephone & Telegraph Co. "With no letup in activity," announced A.T.& T. President Frederick R. Kappel, the Bell System's second-quarter operating revenues totaled $1.6 billion, with a net income of $208.5 million, both about 10% better than last year and both new records...

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