ECONOMICS

Fed Lowers Interest Rates

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee March 1, 2012 in Washington, DC

Good news for consumers, bad news for the stock market. The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will be extending Operation Twist in order to lower the long-term interest rates for millions of consumers and businesses. The Fed said it will continue shifting its portfolio from short to long-term securities through the end of the year. The Fed says it plans to buy $267 billion in longer-term Treasury securities with maturities of 6 years to 30 years and will sell or redeem an equal amount of securities with maturities of 3 years or less. Stocks took a dive after the announcement, but turned mixed by mid-afternoon.