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What can UPS do for stocks?

October 23, 2012: 1:45 PM ET

Packaging and shipping company United Parcel Service (UPS) isn't doing much for the broader stock market today.

While investors cheered UPS's third-quarter earnings, sending the stock up more than 2% Tuesday, it wasn't enough to offset the other dismal earnings reports coming out. U.S. stocks have sold off all day after Dow components DuPont (DD), United Technologies (UTX) and 3M (MMM) issued disappointing reports.

UPS took the middle road, not really delivering reasons to think the economy is improving (or  for that matter getting worse).

firstadopter: $UPS call: not expecting rebound in economy, no change in momentum in October "steady as she goes"

That certainly seems to be the line towed by UPS CFO Kurt Kuehn, who said in a statement that the company's performance "reflects the ability of our global network to adapt to soft macro conditions."

UPS and rival FedEx (FDX) are considered bellwethers because of their size and reach. But mum's the word today.

thestalwart: RT @mckonomy$UPS 3Q earnings report: we are NOT FedEx. US package delivery rose, no change in 4Q or 2012 earnings forecasts. #economy

ElliotTurn: Bears always cite companies like $FDX and $UPS as indicators when the stocks are in the gutter. Have not seen 1 mention of UPS today though!

Still, after an earnings season filled with a lowering of forecasts, investors are heartened when a company, particularly one completely connected to the global economy, can simply keep its forecasts in place.

And speaking of the global economy, UPS's report painted a mixed view.

BrianSozzi: Weird title on UPS earnings release, normally don't lead like that: "UPS International Profit Rebounds" $UPS

While U.S. sales increased slightly from last year, global revenue declined. But the bright spot was Asia, where deliveries surged.

Not sure that UPS buried the lede. But the company admitted that the surge in volume in Asia came from new product launches there and relatively easy comparisons.




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Maureen Farrell
Maureen Farrell
Staff writer, CNNMoney

Maureen Farrell is a staff writer at CNNMoney and covers Wall Street, banking, mergers and the stock and bond markets. Prior to joining CNNMoney, she covered venture capital and entrepreneurs for Forbes, and mergers and bankruptcy for Mergermarket and Debtwire, both divisions of the Financial Times.

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