Ups and downs

UP to USA 3000 expanding its low-cost service between Pittsburgh and Florida. While it’s no replacement for US Airways, the airline will base between 50 and 60 workers at Pittsburgh International Airport.

DOWN to American Eagle Outfitter’s poor showing among its target audience of 16- to 24-year-olds during the recent back-to-school shopping season. The Warrendale clothing retailer continues to struggle, even as the economy shows signs of bouncing back.

UP to an announced cut in natural gas charges by Dominion Peoples and Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania.

DOWN to a shuffle in the structure at Ketchum Public Relations that will shift control from Pittsburgh to Chicago and trim the agency’s presence in the city where it was founded.

UP to the sale of land in Marshall Township by the Allegheny County to Tech21 Partners for development of a $200 million complex that is expected to include a hotel, 140 townhouses, 16 office buildings and two restaurants.

DOWN to the reports of a $6.5 million third-quarter loss posted by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. The good news is that the bank says the loss comes as the result of a change in accounting rules affecting losses on derivatives, and not because of fundamental weakness in the bank’s financial condition.

UP to the appointment of F. Michael Langley as CEO of the Allegheny Conference. After a long search, the economic development group finally has a leader.

DOWN to a plan that would eliminate pension, health care and life insurance benefits to Weirton Steel retirees as part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy.

UP to reports that manufacturing is bouncing back nationally, a good sign for a region that still depends to a large extent on the business of making things.