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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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No October jinx this time for the stock market

NEW YORK (AP) a¿¿ October often makes investors nervous, since that's when some of the biggest crashes in stock market history happened. But this October, the market seemed unstoppable.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at a record high seven times and ended the month up 4.5 percent. The market climbed even after October began with the 16-day government shutdown and the threat of a potentially calamitous U.S. default.

After being rattled by a series of down-to-the-wire budget battles in recent years, investors have become inured to the ways of Washington lawmakers. Instead of selling stocks, they kept their focus on what they say really matters: the Federal Reserve.

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FAA eases rules on electronic devices on planes

WASHINGTON (AP) a¿¿ Airline passengers won't have to "turn off all electronic devices" anymore a¿¿ they'll be able to read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music from gate to gate under new guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration. But they still can't talk on their cellphones through the flight.

Don't expect the changes to happen immediately, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said Thursday at a news conference announcing new rules. How fast will vary by airline.

Delta and JetBlue said they would quickly submit plans to implement the new policy. Airlines will have to show the FAA that their airplanes meet the new guidelines and that they've updated their flight-crew training manuals, safety announcements and rules for stowing devices to reflect the new guidelines.

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Food stamp cuts kick in as Congress debates more

WASHINGTON (AP) a¿¿ More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will see their benefits go down starting Friday, just as Congress has begun negotiations on further cuts to the program.

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