The unexpected move precedes a scheduled meeting, during whichFederal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke was widely expected to cutrates--and if in fact Wall Street is divided as to whether the Fedwill cut rates during the session once more. The monetary authorityhas taken a whack at interest rates outside of its traditionalschedule before: the day the market reopened after the Sept. 11terrorist attacks it cut interest rates by a half-point. Marketwatchers, though, have to reach back to 1984 to find a precedentfor the size of these cuts.

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Market reaction to the Federal Reserve Bank's surprise cut intwo key interest rates has been positive, with initial signssuggesting it may nudge long term rates down, at least slightly."It is always a crapshoot to see what affect a cut will have onlong-term interest rates," Colin Whittier, VP of KeyBank RealEstate Capital tells GlobeSt.com. The early signs, though, is thatit will have a downward effect. Hours after the Fed made itsannouncement the 30-year Treasury yield was down three basispoints; the 10-year yield down nine basis point; five-year, down by14 basis points and the two-year by 21 basis points.

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This is the fourth time in the past few months that the monetaryauthority has lowered interest rates. In September, it lowered itstarget for the federal funds rate 50 basis points to4.8%. Then in November it lowered the federal funds rate target byanother 25 basis points to 4.5%. Lastmonth, it cut by one-quarter the federal fundsrate to 4.3%.

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Some of the later cuts were met with complacency from WallStreet as expectations for the reduction had already been pricedinto the market. This time, might be different though--althoughvirtually no one expects the cuts to solve the debt market seizureand multimillion-dollar write downs that companies are experiencingnow.

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However, Kraig Kast, CEO at Atherton Trust, tells GlobeSt.comthat this cut should help commercial real estate sales and reduceclosing times. "The downside is that cap rates may remain lowbecause real estate will be viewed as a better investmentalternative than securities due to it having less volatility," hesays.

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