STATE OF BUSINESS: Betting on the Future

With a show of independence from the tribulations of the economy, the stock market last week climbed to a new high for the year, closing the week at 459.56 on the Dow-Jones industrial average, up 5 points for the week and 23 points above the year's low. The market was boosted by those who kept their eyes on a bright future, rather than the grey present.

Corporations continued to feel the bite of the recession in their first-quarter profits. U.S. Steel reported first-quarter earnings off 46% ($1.04 a share v. last year's $2.09), and Inland Steel was off 46% ($1.40...

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