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US corporate profits post a record drop

Corporate profits decreased by a record $19 billion between April and June as the nation's economy was tumbling into the worst of the current recession, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The profits of virtually every manufacturing industry were affected, one analyst said, with automakers being hit the hardest. The oil industry, feeling the pinch of the new windfall-profits tax, had its first decline in profits in two years. In another section of the report, the Commerce Department said real gross national product -- the total output of goods and services adjusted for inflation -- fell 9 percent in the second quarter.