Ups and Downs

UPS to Marc USA’s joint venture with two ad executives in Miami to tap into the fast-growing Hispanic market.

UPS to H.J. Heinz Co.’s increase in first quarter fiscal 2004 earnings. While the company has trimmed its operations in Pittsburgh as a result of the sale of several of its product lines to Del Monte Foods Co., it continues to do well with its strong brands.

DOWNS to the planned sale of Stargate’s assets to buyers in Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta. The home-grown ISP, which filed for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year, was once one of the fastest growing inner-city companies in the country.

UPS to the selection of a robotics team at Carnegie Mellon University to help develop autonomous navigation technology for the Army.

DOWNS to a troublesome aspect of a report about a surge in the nation’s manufacturing activity in August, viewed overall as a good sign for the economy. While orders for manufactured goods are up, an uptick in hiring hasn’t occurred yet, a result that analysts attribute to productivity gains by manufacturers.

UPS to PNC Financial Services Group’s acquisition of United National Bancorp of Bridgewater, N.J., a move that PNC says will bring additional jobs to Pittsburgh.

DOWNS to Lord & Taylor’s decision to leave Pittsburgh. The move throws another monkey wrench into the city’s plans to revitalize the Fifth and Forbes retail corridor.

UPS to Medrad’s new disposables manufacturing line, a $2.8 million investment that increases production capacity by 60 percent.