The Federal Reserve unleashed a series of aggressive actions Thursday intended to stimulate the still-weak economy by making it cheaper for consumers and businesses to borrow and spend.
Among the actions announced:
- The Fed will spend $40 billion a month to buy mortgage-backed securities for as long as it needs.
- Short-term interest rates will remain at record lows through mid-2015.
- Ready to take other unconventional steps if job growth fails to pick up.
A statement from the Fed's policy committee said it thinks "a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the economic recovery strengthens."
After the announcement, the stock market and gold rallied while the U.S. dollar weakened in financial markets.