(Federal Open Market Committee statement details, interviews and analysis added to this most recent update.)WASHINGTON ( TheStreet) -- The Federal Reserve's policymaking arm offered no surprises Tuesday as it kept the target fed funds rate unchanged at near zero. Fed watchers expected the Federal Open Market Committee's rate announcement to be nearly identical to its last statement, and that's what they got. The FOMC voted to keep the target interest rate at zero to 0.25%, citing continued economic weakness, even as it acknowledged the ongoing recovery. The FOMC also maintained language promising to keep interest rates low "for an extended period," which may have come as a mild surprise to some who thought the Fed would begin prepping investors for an eventual rate increase by slightly altering the phrase.
|Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve|