Chipping away at the defense

Welcome to CapBiz A.M., your morning primer on business news with a focus on Washington.

No end in sight: The nation’s largest defense contractors watched their revenues drop 2.6 percent last year, as troops withdraw from the Middle East and federal spending continues to tighten, according to an analysis published Monday by Deloitte. It marks a third straight year of decline, and by all indications, we’re heading for a fourth. (WP)

DOD leader leaving: The Defense Department’s chief information officer, Teri Takai, announced Monday that she will step down on Friday. The Pentagon has not yet named a replacement for Takai, who had previously spent three decades with Ford Motor Co. (DO)

Oakville getting a facelift: The Oakville Triangle development in Alexandria, situated between Potomac Yard and Del Ray, is being prepped for a major makeover, which could bring 1.5 million square feet of new retail and residential space to the area, and perhaps a hotel. (WBJ)

Sales on the horizon: More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, the first increase since last summer. While the numbers remain historically low, it’s still a sign that the housing market might pick up after a sluggish start to the year. (AP)

Growth in the wrong places: A new analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that the industries responsible for the most job creation over the last four years are also the industries that pay the least, like retail, food services and administrative services. (WP)

Construction up, for now: The construction industry is adding jobs in most areas of the country, according to a new report by the Associated General Contractors of America. However, unless Congress refuels a certain transportation initiative, that progress may soon come to a halt. (WBJ)

Lonestar shift: Toyota Motor Corp. is moving its North American marketing and manufacturing operations to a new headquarters in Plano, Texas that will house about 4,000 works – the largest overhaul of its U.S. operations in 50 years. (CNN)

On Wall Street

Stocks edged higher after a topsy turvy Monday, with investors weighing talks of several proposed mergers against a financial foul-up by Bank of America and lingering tensions in the Ukraine. Twitter is due up for earnings later today. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

Wharton D.C. Innovation Summit (8 a.m.)

Alexandria Small Business Development Center productivity forum (9 a.m.)

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price index (9 a.m.)

Conference Board’s consumer confidence index (10 a.m.)

Federal Open Market Committee meeting begins today (ends Wednesday)

Help: What it really takes to make it as an entrepreneur (WP)

Follow: Evan Burfield, co-founder of the 1776 start-up incubator in the District

Extra: Marriott Marquis opens Thursday in D.C. Here’s a look back at the 24-year history of the project. (WP)

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he runs the On Small Business blog.
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J.D. Harrison · April 28