2008_12_nyfed.jpgStocks soared after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to the lowest level ever: 0% to 0.25%. The Dow closed just under 9,000 points, at 8,924 (gaining 350 points/4.3%) while the Nasdaq was up 5.4% and S&P 500 rose 4.5%. The NY Times points out the Fed's move "bring[s] the United States to the zero-rate policies that Japan used for six years in its own fight against deflation." The Fed said it would use all its "available tools" to continue to help the economy (Bloomberg News notes, "Nine rate cuts in the prior 14 months and $1.4 trillion in emergency lending failed to reverse the economic downturn."). And former St. Louis Fed president William Poole told Bloomberg TV, "The Fed is sending a message that it will print money to an unlimited extent until it starts to see the economy expanding." Graphic: NY Times