Downs to Dairy Mart. The convenience store company's on-again/off-again plans to close underperforming stores and its latest job cuts aimed at saving money appear to be desperate measures as the company awaits sale. It's a shame considering that as early as a year-and-a-half ago, Robert Stein seemed to have the company back on the path to profitability.
Ups to Fifth Third Bank. A $100,000 donation to CSU's Viking Venture Capital Fund helps students, alumni and faculty create new business opportunities and strengthen existing business ventures. With an ultimate goal of $1 million, the fund should be yet another feather in CSU's hat.
Downs to U.S. productivity, which dropped for the first time in six years. Labor costs jumped by a 5.2 percent annual clip at the same time, the fastest pace in more than three years. That adds up to further problems on the horizon. Hang onto your hats, folks.