Struggling United responds to downturn by buying 150 planes


So, you are a struggling company in a struggling sector, what do you do? How about dishing out more than $10 billion during one of the worst slumps ever in your industry. Well, that's the strategy UAL (UAUA), parent company of United Airlines, seems to be employing. According to The Wall Street Journal (subscription), UAL has asked airplane manufacturers Boeing and Airbus to propose "dueling bids" for up to 150 new planes.

The move will probably draw quite a bit of criticism, as UAL is one of the last companies that should be doling out that kind of money. The stock is wallowing in the $5 region and is succumbing to pressure from its 10-week moving average. Naturally, this is a perfect time to try and bury your competitors, right?