NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- — The Federal Reserve is not going to slow down the pace of its bond purchases yet. And that was just what investors wanted to hear.
The S&P 500 immediately jumped to a new record high, and the Dow quickly followed. The Nasdaq also moved up after the Fed's surprise announcement.
Bond yields, which have been rising lately, slid back as well as investors bought more bonds. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.77% from 2.87% earlier in the day.
Many analysts and investors had expected the Fed to announce Wednesday that it was finally ready to begin cutting back -- or taper -- its stimulus measures.
The overall economy has improved, and the unemployment rate has fallen, which was expected to be enough of a catalyst for the Fed to ease its so-called quantitative easing. The Fed has been buying $85 billion in bonds and other securities a month.
Fed chair Ben Bernanke will offer more guidance on the central bank's longer-term plans at a 2:30 p.m. press conference.
What housing starts? Investors received one disappointing reading on the health of the economy before the Fed meeting though. The Census Bureau's monthly reports on housing starts and building permits came in below expectations.
But corporate news was better. FedEx reported an increase in quarterly sales and net income, compared to a year-ago. Earnings topped forecasts and shares rose on the news.
FedEx gives a blah reading on the economy: Despite a relatively rosy quarter, FedEx, which is often viewed as an economic bellwether because of its global footprint, gave investors an iffy assessment on the economy.
While the stock popped on earnings, some traders were wary of FedEx's longer-term trajectory.
dachria: $FDX Cost cutting as usual helps the bottom line but for how long
retail_guru: For 'tepid' economic growth as Fedex puts it, $FDX US daily volume (inc Express + Ground) +10%. That's pretty good in any book or any macro
Soccer club Manchester United reported a jump in quarterly revenue, compared to the prior year, and a surge in net profit, compared to the year-earlier loss. The stock was up modestly.
Adobe Systems shares hit all-time highs after the software maker reported strong subscription growth for its "Creative Cloud" service on Tuesday.
flounder: $ADBE New pricing model is absolutely amazing. Never could justify high price of Photoshop to buy but can certainly run with monthly subsc Bullish
AnalystWire: Adobe ($ADBE) Target Raised to $58 at Deutsche Bank http://stks.co/bj54 
European markets and Asian markets ended the day mixed.