United Technologies slashes 11,600 jobs, defense sector under fire

United Technologies Corp.

(UTX) became the latest big company to buckle under pressure from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

The maker of Pratt & Whitney engines and Otis elevators today announced that it would slash 11,600 jobs and reduce its earnings guidance. Shares of the Hartford-based conglomerate, which Wall Street had liked much better than its neighbor General Electric Co. (GE), was up six percent to $39.82 in mid-morning trading. The severity of the economic slowdown caught United Technologies by surprise.