The Federal Reserve was set to let its $2 trillion pool of securities shrink. But it decided Tuesday to keep that amount steady – by buying Treasury bonds – as a way to spur economic recovery.
Mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, between them, have needed $148.2 billion in bailout money since late 2008 to stay afloat. The aim is to ensure that mortgage credit remains available.
Interest rates are likely to be left untouched at the Federal Reserve's meeting this week, but its unclear whether the Fed will restart some of its stimulus programs.
Unemployment rate watchers noted that summer is traditionally a slow season for hiring, but the economy continues to show signs of slow progress. The unemployment rate stayed at 9.5 percent in a jobs report issued Friday.