Sluggish Jobs Data Prompt Easing Speculation

Economists are predicting a further round of "quantitative easing" from the Federal Reserve as it prepares to meet on Wednesday and Thursday.

After last week's disappointing jobs report, where domestic nonfarm payrolls rose by 96,000 jobs -- far below estimates of 125,000 -- analysts increased optimism about a third round of stimulus purchases to reinvigorate the slow economic recovery. The U.S. jobless rate sits at 8.1%, down from 8.3% as thousands dropped out of the labor force.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last month referred to the employment situation as "a grave concern." The Fed's duties include "conducting the nation's monetary policy by influencing the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates."

With global growth slowing, some believe any QE3 program will be open-ended, unlike the fixed stimulus packages of the prior two programs. This would allow the Fed to modify purchases frequently based on the impact the easing is having.

Check out this Motley Fool video to hear analysts Matt Argersinger and Paul Chi offer up ideas investors could use to take advantage of QE3.

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