The Federal Reserve today cut its key interest rate to a range of between 0 percent and 0.25 percent, marking the first time the Fed has cut rates below 1 percent.

The rate had previously been at 1 percent, and most investors were expecting the Fed to cut rates to either 0.25 percent or 0.5 percent.

The Fed said it expects to keep rates near that unprecedented level for some time to come.

Other central banks, notably the Bank of Japan, have taken rates down to near 0 percent in the past. Last week, the Swiss central bank cut its key rate to 0.5 percent.