The transportation exchange traded fund (ETF) is at a fork in the road, and mixed earnings reports from components trickle in.

UPS (UPS) reported a 9.9% drop in its quarterly profit, but it wasn’t as bad as Wall Street had predicted. However, the company still expects shipping to be off in the last quarter as consumers scale back on holiday gift shopping, reports Scott Malone for Reuters.

A deteriorating economy has the company planning to cut costs and lay off workers in 2009. The better-than-expected results were aided by falling fuel prices that saw UPS’s costs decreasing.

The company is gong to raise its shipping rates in 2009 by 5.9% on the ground and 4.9% in the air, reports David Benoit for the Wall Street Journal.

Falling fuel prices have also helped the airline industry, for the most part. Some airlines hedged their fuel costs, then got burned when the prices went lower. Other airlines have posted losses, but some are optimistic about the prospects for the industry now that oil is much cheaper than it was a few months ago.

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