The final Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting of the year just ended, and the nation's central bankers took no action. The key interest rate - known as the Fed Funds rate - remains at 0 to 0.25 percent as does the Fed's promise to keep rates at his historically low level through mid-2013.
The post-meeting statement suggests the Fed sees "…the economy has been expanding moderately, notwithstanding some apparent slowing in global growth."
Other key points in their assessment of the economy:
They did note that there are "significant downside risks" and most on Wall Street suggest this is a less-than-subtle hint at the risks posed by Europe's current debt woes.
Markets were expecting the Fed might announce a new program that would lower an interest rate at the Discount Window - currently around 0.75 percent. The lack of action on that front pushed stocks into negative territory for the day.