What happened

Shares in United Parcel Service (UPS -1.51%) were up by more than 2.5% midday today. As fellow writer Lou Whiteman noted earlier in the week, UPS is a company and a stock that tends to track investor sentiment about the economy. When investors feel good about the economy and the market, UPS performs well; when they feel more pessimistic, UPS declines. 

There's an obvious logic here. More economic output means more parcel deliveries, which means more volume for package delivery firms, and vice versa. 

So what

That said, Shakira's hips and the earnings-per-share numbers don't lie. In other words, if UPS can partially overcome volume pressures and continue to grow revenue and earnings, then the stock will be rewarded. 

The good news is that's precisely what the company is doing now. 

A chart-based analysis of its volume and revenue growth shows how volume declines are more than offset by rising revenue per piece and improving profit margin. This is the fruit of the company's transformational strategy of focusing on growing its business in key end markets such as small and medium-sized businesses and healthcare. 

Volume growth isn't everything at UPS.

Now what

An economic slowdown will hurt UPS, but if management keeps executing its strategy, it will likely emerge in better shape from any recession. As such, the stock remains highly attractive for investors, even if the market is pushing it around in the near term.