Wal-Mart hitting hurdles locally and globally

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

Big box, big hurdles: On the heels of another sluggish quarter, Wal-Mart on Thursday pulled back on its annual profit outlook. Meanwhile, in Montgomery County, several attempts by the retailer to add a second location have been thwarted. Maybe that’s because, as one local developer put it, “Once you hear the name Wal-Mart, there’s always politics around it.” (AP/CAPBIZ)

Gambling problem: Now that the relatively new Revel Casino Hotel has announced it is closing, it’s becoming clear that Atlantic City’s economy, which has for so long depended on its casinos, must diversify.  (WP)

Parental issue: An Alexandria firm has been sued by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for allegedly offering a human-resources position to a woman only to pull back the offer after discovering she was a new mother. (CAPBIZ)

Hand it over: Defense contractors are preparing for new rules requiring government services firms that suffer a security breach to turn over more information about the intrusion. (WBJ)

Toasters are toast: General Electric has confirmed that it is considering the sale of its appliance division as the company shifts its attention to selling more complex and profitable equipment. (AP)

Slimming down: Cisco Systems has announced plans to eliminate about 6,000 jobs, equal to 8 percent of its labor force, as the technology company attempts to bounce back from another quarter of financial decline. (WSJ)

Not budging: Having lingered around the same spot for the past two months now, mortgage rates are showing little inclination to move up or down – at least not any time soon. (WP)

On Wall Street

Stocks closed higher on Thursday after remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin seemed to ease concerns about the country’s tensions with Ukraine. New data on jobless claims, meanwhile, point to a stronger labor market. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

Producer price index (8:30 a.m.)

Treasury international capital report (9:00 a.m.)

Industrial production report (9:15 a.m.)

Consumer sentiment report (9:55 a.m.)

Help: Seven mistake’s that can kill your company’s brand (KS)

Follow: Department of Defense

Extra: Wal-Mart wants to be your doctor (WP)

Thoughts? Have feedback, tips or events we should know about? Email us here.

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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