The Federal Open Market Committee wraps up its two-day meeting today and anticipation is running high about what Fed chief Ben Bernanke will announce afterward. Pressure is being put on the Fed to act because the U.S. economy remains lackluster. The Fed has repeatedly made clear that it is prepared to do more to help the struggling economy, but has stopped short of promising more of the money injection known as quantitative easing.
The Federal Reserve said it would launch a major new round of bond buying, extending the unconventional actions the central bank has unleashed since the financial crisis to support the precarious economic recovery. The central bank also releases new forecasts for the economy, underscoring the weaker outlook.