A look at the state of the US economy through Q2 earnings reports of 34 major American companies

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Prognosticating what's in store for the U.S. economy is risky business, so we're not even going to try to do so. But, how is the U.S. economy progressing apart from what indicators like the unemployment rate tell us? Perhaps a portrait of the economy's overall health, nearly six years after the onset of the Great Recession, can begin to emerge when looking at the second quarter earnings reports of a cross-section of American corporations -- some new to the scene, like high-flying Facebook, and others iconic blue chip companies that have been around since the early 20th century, like Ford. Scroll through the slide show below and see which companies were the big winners during the second quarter, and which companies fell short of expectations.

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A look at the state of the US economy through Q2 earnings reports of 34 major American companies

Delta 2Q profit rises 17 percent

The Associated Press reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. said Wednesday that second-quarter earnings rose 17 percent, topping analysts' expectations, as passengers flew more miles at higher average fares and fuel spending declined.

Delta said it benefited from gains in corporate contracts and domestic traffic. Like other airlines, Delta has been adding flights cautiously and instead is cramming more passengers on each plane. The average flight was 86.3 percent full, a figure that would have seemed impossible not long ago.

(Getty Photo/Associated Press story)

Verizon adds 1.4M long-term wireless plans in 2Q

According to the Associated Press, Verizon added more than 1.4 million long-term wireless subscribers in the second quarter, with strong gains in both smartphones and tablets, the company said Thursday.

Shares of the New York-based company slid 13 cents in after-hours trading to $49.51. The stock had closed up 74 cents at $49.64.

(Shutterstock Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Goldman Sachs posts higher profit and revenue

Goldman Sachs said Tuesday that its quarterly profit rose 5 percent, helped by record results from investment banking.

The AP reports the company's second-quarter net income climbed to $1.95 billion from $1.86 billion a year earlier, the bank said early Tuesday. That's after paying dividends on preferred stock.

(Getty Photo/Associated Press)

JPMorgan's second-quarter net income falls

JPMorgan Chase, the nation's largest bank by assets, said Tuesday its second-quarter earnings fell 9 percent as revenue at its investment banking and mortgage businesses dropped.

The bank's net income totaled $5.6 billion in the quarter after payments to preferred shareholders. That was down from net income of $6.1 billion in the same period last year.

(Getty/Steve Rothwell)

J&J 2Q PROFIT CLIMBS 13 PERCENT ON NEW-DRUG SALES

Strong sales of several new drugs, particularly its hot new hepatitis medicine, lifted Johnson & Johnson's second-quarter profit by 13 percent, topping analysts' expectations.

The AP's Linda Johnson reports the company's earnings increased to $4.33 billion, or $1.51 per share, from $3.83 billion, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier.

(Getty Photo/LINDA A. JOHNSON)

United Airlines posts 2Q profit, reversing 1Q loss

United Airlines is making money after a slow start to the year.

The airline's net income in the second quarter hit $789 million, topping Wall Street expectations and marking a turnaround from the first quarter when United was the only major U.S. carrier to report a loss.

The company also said Thursday that it will buy back up to $1 billion in shares over the next three years.

(Getty Photo/Associated Press)

Southwest reports record profit of $465M for 2Q

The Associated Press reports Southwest Airlines posted a record profit for the second quarter, more than doubling its earnings from a year ago.

The company said it set records for passenger fares per mile and the percentage of seats sold on its planes during the April-to-June period. It said that bookings in July have been strong, with passengers paying about 3 percent more per mile than in July 2013.

(Getty Photo/Associated Press)

CSX RAILROAD'S 2Q PROFIT CHUGS AHEAD 2 PERCENT

CSX Corp. (CSX) said Tuesday its second-quarter profit chugged ahead 2 percent as the economy continued to improve, so the railroad is investing an additional $100 million in its network.

The Associated Press reports the Jacksonville, Florida-based company said its net income improved to $529 million, or 53 cents per share, from $521 million, or 51 cents per share, in the same period last year.

(Getty Photo/Josh Funk)

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