The news at a glance

Inclement weather cools winter hiring; Facebook to buy Titan Aerospace; J. Crew in talks with Fast Retailing; RadioShack to shutter more stores; GrubHub files $100 million IPO

Jobs: Inclement weather cools winter hiring

Fewer jobs than predicted were created in February, said Jeanna Smialek in New numbers from payroll company ADP showed that employment increased by only 139,000 jobs last month, and that a revised 127,000 gain in January was “weaker than initially reported.” Economists had predicted a gain of 160,000 jobs for February, but with January it’s now part of the weakest two months of hiring since August and September 2012. The report might mean worse news ahead: “ADP’s numbers have missed the mark in tracking the government’s jobs figures over the past couple of months,” generally overshooting the Labor Department’s data for private sector jobs.

Blame the weather, said Lucia Mutikani in “This winter has been colder than usual, with severe snowstorms affecting large parts of the Northeast, Midwest, and Upper Midwest of the country, and the Southeast has experienced unusual ice storms.” Moody’s Analytics said that harsh weather had “weighed on payrolls,” which it said would “improve with warmer temperatures.” Investors seemed optimistic, with stocks “little changed” on the jobs news. “We look for the pace of employment growth to rebound meaningfully in the coming months,” said economist Millan Mulraine of TD Securities.

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Acquisitions: Facebook to buy Titan Aerospace

Facebook is getting into the drone business, said Sarah Perez and Josh Constine in The social networking company is working on a $60 million deal to buy Titan Aerospace, which manufactures “near-orbital, solar-powered drones which can fly for five years without needing to land.” Though dwarfed by Facebook’s recent $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp, a Titan deal would be a coup for the tech giant, which “is interested in using these high-flying drones to blanket parts of the world without Internet access.”

Fashion: J. Crew in talks with Fast Retailing

The owners of Uniqlo may soon snap up J. Crew, said Mike Spector and Dana Mattioli in The Wall Street Journal. Fast Retailing—the Japanese firm that owns Uniqlo, Helmut Lang, Theory, and others—“approached J. Crew’s management about potentially buying the private-equity-owned business.” The U.S. retailer “is seeking upward of $5 billion,” but it’s unclear whether Fast Retailing would pay that much. The talks “heated up” last week in the wake of J. Crew’s owners’ discussion of taking the apparel chain public. Sources said the firm recently asked Goldman Sachs Group “to begin work on a potential IPO,” although “planning hasn’t progressed beyond that.”

Retail: RadioShack to shutter more stores

RadioShack is planning to close more stores, said Paul Davidson and John Waggoner in USA Today. The electronics retailer announced this week that it would close up to 1,100 “poorly performing stores,” or approximately 20 percent of its locations, “as part of an effort to remake itself for a more competitive era.” The news comes on the heels of sharply declining revenues and led to a 15 percent slip in the chain’s stock price.

Tech: GrubHub files $100 million IPO

The takeout-food-ordering site GrubHub is going public, said Jessica Wohl in the Chicago Tribune. The company, which merged with rival Seamless last year, has officially “filed for an initial public offering of up to $100 million.” According to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm’s revenue and user base “soared last year,” but rising costs have put a dent in profits. The firm is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GRUB.

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