Why a local company suddenly went dark

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

Disappearing act: Reston-based Truland Group’s employees were told they were being laid off immediately. Truland’s subcontractors say the electrical contracting firm’s workers stopped showing up to job sites this week. Now, we’re starting to find out why. (CAPBIZ)

Time for transformation: There was a day (more than one, actually) when the Ballston Mall was on the cutting edge of retail. But those days have long since passed, and one developer has some big changes in mind for the property. (CAPBIZ)

Weighing their options: D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s point man on the discussions over a new soccer stadium is grappling with concerns from local residents about how one property in particular would be redeveloped as part of the deal. (CAPBIZ)

Young buyers: Home ownership rates among millennials have been falling across the country. However, a new report projects that the Washington market is one in which the numbers will bounce back in the coming years. (WBJ)

Selling to Iran: Boeing has reportedly agreed to terms of a deal to sell spare aircraft parts to state-run Iran Air. If the deal goes through, the company will be the first known U.S. aerospace firm to sell products to the country in 35 years. (WSJ)

Going downhill fast: All those General Motors recalls, which have required repairs on nearly 30 million vehicles, shaved $1.5 billion from the company’s bottom line in the second quarter. And the losses won’t likely end there. (AP)

Turnaround try: Wal-Mart’s sales have been sliding and inventories are piling up in the United States. Hoping to break out of that slump, the company has tapped the head of its Asia unit to take charge of the U.S. division. (CNN)

Bridging the divide: A new congressional report reveals an alarming gender gap among small business owners. A group of female business leaders and policymakers this week shared their proposals for closing that gap. (OSB)

At long last: The good news? Over the past six months, the unemployment rate has fallen much faster than expected, from 6.7 to 6.1 percent. The even better news? Most of that has been due to declining long-term unemployment. (WP)

On Wall Street

Stocks were little changed on Thursday, with weak housing data largely negating earlier optimism over declining unemployment numbers. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

Durable goods orders report (8:30 a.m.)

Bowie Business Start-up lunch meetup (11:45 a.m.)

Up Global Startup Weekend Education event (6:30 p.m.)

Help: Don’t assume past successes will yield future victories (OSB)

Follow: National Association of Women Business Owners

Extra: Rockville and Bethesda residents may turn up their nose at this new list. (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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