Hunt for safety drives Wall St. to new record

Not all record days on the stock market are created equal. Major U.S. indexes rose to all-time highs for the second day in a row Thursday, but the gains were driven by stocks that investors tend to buy when they want to avoid risk, such as power companies, banks and drug makers.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 54.59 to 15,876.22, while the S&P 500 index added 8.62 to 1,790.62. Both were record highs. The Nasdaq edged up 7.16 to 3,972.74.

Wal-Mart profit up, but retailer trims outlook

— Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says that its third-quarter profit rose 2.8 percent, but the world’s largest retailer reported a sales shortfall as its low-income shoppers feel squeezed around the globe.

The discounter also cut its outlook for the year and issued fourth-quarter guidance that was below projections. Revenue at stores opened at least a year for its U.S. namesake business was down 0.3 percent.

Challenge to Google’s digital library dropped

A federal judge handed Google a victory in a long-running legal battle on Thursday, tossing out a lawsuit claiming the Internet giant was violating copyright laws by scanning books without their permission to create the world’s largest digital library.

The Authors Guild sued Google in 2005, claiming the company wasn’t making “fair use” of copyright material by offering searchable snippets of works in its online library.

The guild was seeking $750 for each copyrighted book that was copied, damages that Google estimated could exceed $3 billion.

Lockheed to cut 4,000 jobs, will shutter plants

Lockheed Martin is cutting 4,000 jobs, about 3.5 percent of its workforce, as the defense contractor continues to look for ways to lower costs amid reduced government spending.

It will close plants in Goodyear, Ariz.; Akron, Ohio; Newtown, Pa.; and Horizon City, Texas; as well as buildings at its Sunnyvale, Calif. campus, by mid-2015, eliminating 2,000 jobs. Another 2,000 positions will be cut in its information systems and global solutions, mission system and training, and space systems units.

McDonald’s has eye on global coffee growth

McDonald’s wants to be a bigger player in the global coffee business. The hamburger chain on Thursday highlighted beverages as a key growth opportunities at a presentation for investors.

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson noted Thursday coffee is a fast-growing category in its global drinks business and said the company has less than its “fair share” of the market.

Offer to acquire Fannie, Freddie is on the table

An investment firm is offering to buy from the government core businesses of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a $52 billion deal.

Fairholme Capital Management made the proposal Wednesday to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie. The government rescued the companies in the financial crisis in 2008 with taxpayer aid totaling $187 billion.

Belk set to open men’s shop in Mount Pleasant

Belk will mark the first phase of an expansion at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre on Friday.

Belk Men’s Store will open at 9 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at 1102 Market Center Blvd. across from the main department store. The 30,000-square-foot building once housed an Earth Fare supermarket and a Guy Harvey restaurant.

Belk is investing $10.2 million to make its Towne Centre location into a flagship store by October.

Staff and wire reports