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The daily business briefing: March 3, 2016

Harold Maass
Reuters/ Sean Gardner
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1.

Energy pioneer McClendon dies in crash after indictment

Former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, 56, died in a one-car crash in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, a day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to rig oil and gas leases. He had vowed to prove his innocence. McClendon, who was a part owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team, was traveling at a "high rate of speed," police said, and slammed into an overpass with no apparent attempt to avoid impact. His 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe burst into flames.

2.

Hiring beat expectations in February

U.S. businesses added 214,000 jobs last month, payroll firm Automatic Data Processing said Wednesday. The number, seen as an indicator of what to expect from the Labor Department's jobs report on Friday, beat analysts' forecasts of a gain of 185,000. "Despite the turmoil in the global financial markets, the American job machine remains in high gear," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which helps ADP prepare its reports.

3.

Target spends big to reduce stock shortages

Target said on Wednesday it would invest heavily in its supply chain to reduce stock shortages and boost online sales growth. The big-box retailer said it would spend as much as $2.5 billion annually starting in 2017 to smooth the flow of goods. Target blamed its "incredibly complex supply chain" for shortages on shelves in 2015 that it said hampered sales.

4.

Monsanto shares plunge on profit warning

Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, on Wednesday cut its profit forecast for the year due to the weak farm economy, sending its stock plummeting. Monsanto shares closed down by 7.8 percent on Wednesday. Monsanto, which also makes Roundup weed killer, has been hurt by the strong dollar, which has reduced its income from abroad, and low global crop prices.

5.

Home flipping rises, raising fears of new local housing bubbles

Home flipping rose last year above a peak set in 2005 in 12 active metropolitan markets, according to a RealtyTrac report published Thursday. Average profits from flipping — buying then reselling property for fast money — reached a 10-year high of $55,000. The news stoked concerns that new housing bubbles could be inflating in some local markets.