An O.K. Quarter With One Big Blue Exception

Big Blue's protracted woes cast a long shadow over second-quarter corporate profits. The staggering $8 billion loss at IBM--following huge restructuring charges--dramatically toned down otherwise buoyant earnings news for Corporate America. Profits rose 13% on average for the 900 companies in BUSINESS WEEK's Scoreboard. If Big Blue's results were excluded, profits would have jumped 36%, compared with 27% in the first quarter's increase and a 20% profit rise recorded a year ago.

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