The latest Beige Book report from the U.S. Federal Reserve confirms what other recent economic reports have suggested: The U.S. economic recovery slowed somewhat in the second quarter, with some regions reporting stalled conditions.
In testimony on Capitol Hill, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the central bank is ready to act in an economy that is "unusually uncertain." Bernanke's comments seem to have spooked the markets, which dropped precipitously as he spoke before reversing course.
The minutes from its June meeting raise some warning flags about growth and unemployment. Still, the Fed's latest forecasts are just slightly more pessimistic, and it has ruled out taking any further stimulus actions -- at least for now.