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The Federal Reserve ended its do-little policy on Thursday, pledging to keep interest rates near zero and announcing an open-ended commitment to buy bonds and possibly take other steps to push the economy into motion.

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The Federal Reserve lent weight to economists’ warnings of a long and slow recovery on Wednesday when it announced plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero for at least the next three years. The idea is that low rates will encourage borrowing and investment in American businesses, helping resurrect the economy.

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