News Summary: Fed unveils new economic support
NEW SUPPORT: The Federal Reserve announced new efforts on Thursday to jump-start a listless U.S. economy and combat high unemployment.
BONDS AND DATES: The Fed unveiled a third round of bond buying and said it would purchase $40 billion each month in mortgage-backed securities to push long-term interest rates lower. It also extended its target for keeping short-term interest rates at record lows through mid-2015 — six months longer than previously planned.
OPEN-ENDED EFFORT: Unlike two previous rounds of bond purchases, the new program is open-ended. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made it clear that the Fed would keep buying bonds and try other measures if necessary until the labor market showed sustained improvements.