Trader Jonathan Corpina works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. The stock market hit a record high Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to keep its economic stimulus in place. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a surprise that sent the stock market soaring, the Federal Reserve concluded Wednesday that the U.S. economy isn’t yet healthy enough for the central bank to ease its stimulus even slightly.
The Fed’s cautious message pleased investors, who had expected a slight cut in the bond purchases that have kept long-term interest rates low as the nation recovers from the Great Recession. Wall Street celebrated the prospect of continued low interest rates by lifting stocks to a record high.
In a statement after a policy meeting, the Fed signaled it has no set timetable for reducing the stimulus, which has stood at $85 billion a month for the last year.
Chairman Ben Bernanke explained later at a news conference that there are good reasons to be cautious:
— The Fed has yet to see conclusive evidence that the Login to read more