The Federal Reserve says it's cutting its federal funds rate by a half-point to 4.75 %, the first reduction in this key rate in four years.
The board chose the aggressive half-point cut, hoping to keep the steep housing slump and the turbulent financial markets from triggering a recession. The cut was twice as deep as many economists had been expecting. It's aimed at boosting economic growth by lowering borrowing costs for millions of consumers and businesses.
In the minutes after the announcement, the Dow surged by more than 200 points, after already trading solidly higher in anticipation of a rate cut.
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