Fed on bonds

From our wire services

The Federal Reserve appears on track to slow its bond purchases by the end of this year if the economy continues to improve. But it remains divided over the exact timing of the move. A few policymakers said they wanted to assess more economic data before deciding when to scale back the

central bank's $85 billion a month in Treasury and

mortgage bond purchases.

Wal-Mart layaway

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is getting rid of the $5 entry fee for customers wanting to open its interest-free, pay-over-time program for holiday gifts. The move comes as the world's largest retailer is seeing that its low-income shoppers remain pinched

in an uncertain economy.

Target profit drops

Target Corp. became the latest in a string of companies that have lowered their business expectations as they contend with an uncertain economy. The cheap chic retailer muted its annual profit forecast after reporting a 13 percent drop in second-quarter profit as its expansion into Canada - its first foray outside the U.S.

Builder upbeat

Toll Brothers Inc.'s fiscal third-quarter profit took a hit from higher tax expense, but the luxury homebuilder is upbeat about the rebound

in the housing market. "We believe the recovery is real, and we are in the early stages of the rebound," CEO Douglas Yearley said in a statement Wednesday.

Google and NFL

Google has been holding talks with the National Football League, raising speculation that the Internet monolith is seeking new inroads into television. Other tech companies such as Apple are reportedly in talks with cable providers to boost access to blockbuster television shows through their devices.

Kia recalls SUVs

Kia is recalling more than 9,700 SUVs in the U.S. and Canada because the front axle can fail and the vehicles can lose power. The recall affects 2014 Sorento SUVs with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines and front-wheel-drive. They were built from Jan. 7 through March 12 of this year.

Oil price drops

The price of oil fell Wednesday as the Federal Reserve indicated it will slow a bond-buying program that has suppressed long-term interest rates by the end of the year. Benchmark oil for October delivery dropped $1.26 to close at $103.85 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Facebook growth

Facebook wants to get more of the world's more than 7 billion people - all

of them, actually - online through a partnership with some of the world's largest mobile technology firms. Facebook Inc. announced

a partnership called Internet.org. The group also includes Samsung, Nokia and Qualcomm Inc.