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Federal Reserve ends quantitative easing program

In a symbolic vote of confidence in the economy's health, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it is ending a bond purchasing program begun at the height of the economic collapse in 2008.

The Fed "judges that there has been a substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market since the inception of its current asset purchase program," the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement, adding that it "continues to see sufficient underlying strength in the broader economy."

The Fed also said it would keep interest rates near zero for the time being.