Noting that economic growth is “considerably slower” this year than previously thought, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday that it would maintain short-term interest rates near zero for at least another two years.
But the central bank did not revive its controversial Treasury-bond purchase program to ease recession worries in the stock market, as many analysts predicted it would after a meeting of its rate-setting committee.
The stock market, which was already on the rebound before the Fed’s mid-afternoon announcement, pared its gains afterwards.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had surged more than 200 points earlier in the day as it rebounded from a global rout Monday, erased most of those gains and went into negative territory within minutes of the Fed’s decision, made on a 7-3 vote.
Three hawkish Fed governors dissented from the decision, apparently out of concern about the growing threat of inflation. The central bank said it had to remain mindful of both inflation and disappearing growth, even as it noted that the “downside risks to the economic outlook have increased.”