Stocks hit record after Fed keeps its stimulus

NEW YORK — The stock market hit a record high Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to keep its economic stimulus in place.

Bond yields fell sharply, their biggest move in nearly two years. The price of gold jumped as some traders anticipated that the Fed’s decision might cause inflation.

Fed policymakers voted to maintain the central bank’s $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program, which has been in place since late 2008. It is designed to keep interest rates low to spur economic growth.

While the U.S. economy appears to be improving, the bank’s policymakers “decided to await more evidence that progress will be sustained” before deciding to slow the purchases.

The stimulus has been a big reason for the market’s bull run. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 147.21 Wednesday to 15,676.94 above its previous record high set Aug. 2. The S&P 500 surged 20.76 to 1,725.52, beating its previous high also set Aug. 2. The Nasdaq rose 37.94 to 3,783.64.

Boeing to stop making its C-17 airlifters in 2015

LOS ANGELES — Boeing Co. says it will end production of its big C-17 Globemaster III military cargo jets and close the airlifter’s final assembly plant in Long Beach, Calif., in 2015. The aerospace giant said Wednesday it will build the final 22 C-17s in the interim.

Boeing says nearly 3,000 employees support C-17 production in Long Beach; Macon, Ga.; Mesa, Ariz., and St. Louis. Workforce reductions will begin next year.

Last week, the Long Beach plant delivered the last of 223 C-17s produced for the Air Force. One went to Joint Base Charleston. The remaining aircraft to be built are for overseas customers.

Starbucks looks to curb gun toting in its cafes

NEW YORK — Starbucks has always set itself apart by taking strong positions on progressive political issues. Now that reputation has landed the company in the middle of the heated national debate over gun laws.

Starting today, the company will run full-page ads in major newspapers, telling customers that guns are no longer welcome in its cafes. But Starbucks is stopping short of an outright ban, exposing the fine line it needs to walk on a highly divisive issue. “We are not pro-gun or anti-gun,” CEO Howard Schultz said, noting that customers will still be served if they choose to a carry gun.

Oracle’s fiscal 1Q profit up 8%; sales fall short

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. — Higher software revenue helped lift Oracle Corp.’s fiscal first-quarter net income by 8 percent to $2.19 billion. The adjusted profit beat Wall Street predictions. Revenue fell short, rising 2 percent to $8.37 billion.

Sales of ‘GTA V’ game pass $800M on 1st day

NEW YORK — The video game company behind “Grand Theft Auto V” says sales of the blockbuster shooter game surpassed $800 million in one day.

The wildly anticipated game hit stores in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world on Wednesday. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. says the launch is the biggest of any game in the company’s history.

Though there are new video game consoles coming out in November, “GTA V” was created for the current gaming systems, namely Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3. Still, it’s likely to be the biggest game of the holiday season.

Staff and wire reports