Falling interest rates mean Americans could suddenly find billions of extra dollars in their pockets at a time when consumers have sharply cut back on spending amid rising unemployment and declining household wealth.
But many experts believe that the interest rate cuts alone won't be enough to jump-start the economy.
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"It's a tall order to get (people) to go out and spend again," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. "That's why you also need a stimulus."
Later Thursday, the New York-based Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators for November is expected to fall 0.5 percent, according to the consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
The index posted a 0.8 percent decline in October.
The index is designed to forecast economic activity in the next three to six months based on 10 economic components, including stock prices, building permits and initial claims for unemployment benefits.
And Freddie Mac , the mortgage company, is also scheduled to release its weekly survey of mortgage rates Thursday.
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Also Thursday, President-elect Barack Obama is set to name a veteran of the Securities and Exchange Commission to lead the agency as it faces growing criticism for its failure to protect investors and detect trouble on Wall Street.
Mary Schapiro, who currently heads a nongovernment regulatory group for securities firms, is also a former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and former member of the SEC.
She has been appointed to government posts by two Republican presidents and one Democratic chief executive.
Wall Street stocks finished moderately lower Wednesday, as further signs of economic deterioration dampened investors' earlier enthusiasm about the Fed's record interest rate cut.
Stocks declined in the early going after a larger-than-expected loss from Morgan Stanley offered fresh evidence of the sizable obstacles the battered financial industry still faces.
The company posted a loss of $2.37 billion, or $2.34 per share, for the fiscal fourth quarter.
The report came a day after rival Goldman Sachs posted its first quarterly loss since going public in 1999.