Protesters swamp McDonald's headquarters

McDonald's shut down a restaurant near its headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., after the area was swamped by hundreds of protesters calling for pay of $15 an hour and a union. The restaurant was closed because of traffic concerns, said Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem, a spokeswoman for McDonald's. The company also told employees in a building targeted by protesters they should work from home, she said. The start of the two-day demonstration comes ahead of the company's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.

Stock market posts another listless day

The stock market showed little life as it closed yet another trading day barely changed from the day before. Major indexes flitted between tiny gains and losses in the morning, rallied a bit after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its last meeting, then petered out toward the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 ended lower, but barely — down just 0.09 percent. "There's no real reason to rally and no real reason to decline," said Matthew Tuttle, CEO of money manager Tuttle Tactical Management. "It's been really boring." The S&P 500 closed down 1.98 points to 2,125.85. The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 26.99 points, or 0.2 percent, to 18,285.40.

ConAgra to pay fine in peanut butter case

ConAgra Foods agreed to pay $11.2 million, a sum that includes the highest criminal fine ever in a U.S. food safety case, to settle a federal charge that the company shipped Peter Pan peanut butter tainted with salmonella from a plant in Georgia, sickening more than 600 people and triggering a massive recall eight years ago. No company executives were charged. The company agreed to pay $8 million in criminal fines, plus an additional $3.2 million in forfeitures.

Kohl's plans to test an off-price offshoot

Kohl's Corp. is dipping its toe in the surging off-price retailer stream, with plans to soon begin testing a new store format offering deep discounts on returned merchandise. The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based operator of more than 1,160 department stores nationwide has leased a 30,000-square-foot space in a suburban strip mall in New Jersey that will open early next month as Off-Aisle by Kohl's. Filling the shelves will be "like-new" clothing, accessories and home goods returned to Kohl's department stores or Kohls.com.

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