Fed renews push for lower mortgage rates

QE3 green-lights $40B in monthly Fannie, Freddie MBS purchases

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The Federal Reserve will attempt to put a tailwind behind the housing sector by purchasing $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a move that’s intended to keep downward pressure on interest rates.

Under the third round of "quantitative easing," or QE3, announced today, the Fed will also continue to reinvest principal payments from its holdings of Fannie and Freddie debt and MBS.