Some experts say the Federal Reserve may use its meeting this week to say or do something to try to boost confidence amid a slumping U.S. economy, Europe's debt crisis and the shaky financial markets.
Concern has flared just as U.S. employers have reduced hiring.
U.S. retail sales and manufacturing output have weakened and the
housing market is still far from healthy.
Many economists say that if the Fed announces any new step, it
most likely would be to extend a program called Operation Twist,
under which the Fed sells shorter-term securities and buys longer-term bonds. The goal is to further reduce long-term interest
rates to encourage borrowing and spending.
Some analysts think policymakers might want to further assess
the economic landscape first, but they're expected to at least say
the Fed is willing to do more.