Shoppers at a Target store in Westbury, N.Y., last week. Consumer spending drives the economy. And the holiday shopping season is crucial for retailers. Shannon Stapleton /Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Shannon Stapleton /Reuters /Landov

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talks to educators Aug. 7 in Washington, D.C. At their most recent meeting, many Fed members backed action to boost the economy. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP hide caption

toggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

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