Houses started shrinking there for a bit. Not anymore.

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

Bigger than ever: There was a time during the Great Recession when it looked like Americans were rethinking those mega-homes, reining in budgets and ambitions and their love of the three-car garage. Clearly, that moment has now passed. (WP)

Heading for the door: One day after Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders completed their merger, a dozen of the former’s attorneys and policy specialists left to join rival law firms, bringing the total number of departures at the company since the announcement to at least 22. (CAPBIZ)

White picket? Lockheed Martin on Monday announced that it has won a highly anticipated contract to build a “space fence” for the Pentagon – which begs the question: What in the world is a “space fence?” (WP)

From underdog to frontrunner: In the fierce competition to build the FBI’s sprawling new headquarters, some of the area’s most powerful real estate companies suddenly face stiff competition from an attorney you’ve never heard of. (CAPBIZ)

No app maker: One the new members of D.C. business incubator 1776, which houses a number of software and mobile technology companies, isn’t like the others. No, this small company has its sights set on Lockheed Martin, the Defense Department and what’s known as quantum computing. (CAPBIZ)

Disappearing act: Twenty years ago, the District was home to the headquarters of 13 banks that employed nearly 2,800 people. Now, there are four banks with barely more than 300 employees. Where did they all go? (WBJ)

Still No. 1: Walmart remained on top of Fortune’s annual list of 500 highest-earning US companies on Monday, posting nearing half a trillion dollars in annual revenue and netting $16bn. Apple and one other company have broken into the top five. (TIME)

Building momentum: Construction spending posted modest gains in April, driven by an uptick in home building and government construction that lifted total activity to the highest level in five years. Coupled with March’s gain, the sector appears to be gaining steam. (AP)

On Wall Street

Stocks closed mostly higher on a quiet Monday following two reports that showed the manufacturing industries of the world’s two largest economies expanded last month. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

ICSC-Goldman store sales report (7:45 a.m.)

Gallup economic confidence index (8:30 a.m.)

Factory orders report (10 a.m.)

USDA ChallengeHER women-owned small business event (8 a.m.)

Help: How to act, sound and look like a leader (WP)

Follow: Startup DC, a public-private entrepreneurship initiative

Extra: A behind-the-scenes look at the Jeopardy! auditions (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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J.D. Harrison | June 2