Stock market inches lower ahead of economic reports

Stocks edged lower Monday as investors waited for a series of major economic reports due out this week. A string of big-name merger deals wasn’t enough to push indexes higher.

On Wednesday the government will report its first estimate of U.S. economic growth for the second quarter, and on Friday it will publish its monthly jobs survey.

Both reports will give investors a better idea about the strength of the economy and what’s next for the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program. Investors will hear from the Fed on Wednesday after the central bank winds up a two-day policy meeting. The Fed’s stimulus has been a major factor supporting a four-year rally in stocks.

 

Fast-food workers strike in NYC over pay, benefits

Fast-food workers across New York City went on strike Monday for better pay and the right to unionize. Walkouts and demonstrations were held Monday at restaurants including McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s.

Activists said hundreds of workers walked off their jobs. They are demanding a minimum wage increase and calling for better benefits.

At a McDonald’s across from Yankee Stadium, several dozen people chanted “We can’t survive on $7.25.”

 

Icahn says that Dell’s offer bypasses voting process

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is renewing his attack on Michael Dell’s leadership and warning that the latest offer from Dell to buy the struggling PC maker he founded bypasses an important shareholder safeguard.

Icahn and the investment firm Southeastern Asset Management said Monday in a letter to a special committee of Dell Inc. board members that Michael Dell wants to circumvent the voting process behind a deal by preventing stockholders from passively rejecting his offer.

 

Egg producer Cal-Maine blames loss on settlement

Cal-Maine Foods Inc. said Monday that it lost $3.8 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, pulled down by hefty costs related to the settlement of a claim.

For the quarter ended June 1, the Jackson, Miss.-based egg producer’s loss amounted to 16 cents per share and compared with a year-ago profit of $37.3 million, or $1.56 per share.

The recent quarter’s results included a one-time charge of 71 cents per basic share related to the settlement of a direct purchaser class claim.