Call this the big picture. Here we take a wider cut at the performance of American industry, sizing up the top 1,000 companies by 12 different measures, including profits, employees, and bottom-line ratios, like return on equity. You'll find enormous differences among industries--and within them. For example, the health care group showed profit growth of 24% but a -23% return to investors. Computer peripherals companies, on the other hand, had zero profit growth but 101% total return. Among peers, check out Compaq's profits, up 66%; Apple's, down 292%.