Why this rocket company won’t hunt

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

Splitting sports and space: Alliant Techsystems is splitting its hunting and aerospace segments and merging the latter with commercial space firm Orbital Sciences, creating a new $4.5 billion company named Orbital ATK based in Dulles. (CAPBIZ)

Poaching from DOJ: D.C.’s largest law firm, Covington & Burling, has snapped up Mythili Raman, who last month stepped down as acting chief of the criminal division of the Department of Justice. Covington is starting to make a habit of snatching up the agency’s top officials. (CAPBIZ)

Still stuck: The Washington region’s unemployment rate ticked up from 4.8 percent to 4.9 percent in March, adding only 5,500 jobs in the past year as a shrinking federal budget has hit local contractors and professional services companies.  (CAPBIZ)

Hint, hint: Microstrategy has a long history of offering little or no guidance to shareholders and investors about its future financial goals and performance. But one rather ambiguous sentence in the company’s latest regulatory filing has some believing that’s about to change. (CAPBIZ)

Cozy lodging: D.C. developer Jim Abdo and Modus Hotels are working together to turn Foggy Bottom’s Allen Lee Hotel into the city’s first “pod” hotel, with rooms no larger than 250 square feet – about half the size of a traditional hotel room. (WBJ)

A step closer for Fed prospects: The Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved three nominees to the Federal Reserve’s board on Tuesday, including the candidate to be the central bank’s second-in-command. The nominations now head to a full vote in the Senate. (REU)

Nokia’s about-face: After selling its troubled handset business to Microsoft, Nokia is in total turnaround mode, naming a new chief executive on Tuesday, promising to pay dividends again and laying out a vision for its remaining operations. (AP)

Radioactive Clippers: CarMax, State Farm, Kia Motors and Virgin America are among the companies that have pulled back on their sponsorship and advertising deals with the Los Angeles Clippers in the wake of racist comments allegedly made by team owner Donald Sterling. (WSJ)

Hitting their bottom lime: A citrus disease that struck Florida more than a decade ago, paired with recent drug cartel activity in Mexico, is making business a little more expensive these dasy for bar owners across the country. (AP)

On Wall Street

Stocks surged on Tuesday, with the Dow nearing a record high after better-than-expected quarterly earnings from several companies. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

ADP employment report (8:15 a.m.)

Gross Domestic Produce report (8:30 a.m.)

FOMC meeting announcements (2 p.m.)

Northern Virginia Technology Council forum on STEM talent pipeline (7:30 a.m.)

House Small Business Committee hearing on Small Business Administration programs (1 p.m.)

Help: How to manage a crisis before it destroys your company (INC)

Extra: Why you shouldn’t freak out if tomorrow’s economic report is abysmal. (WP)

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he manages the Post's On Small Business blog.
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Catherine Ho | April 29