Exchange traded funds (ETFs) and the markets waited with optimism for the Federal Reserve’s rate cut today, which was the quarter point that had been expected.

This puts the federal funds rate at its lowest level since December 2004, reports Mark Felsenthal for the Associated Press. It’s the seventh cut and has brought rates down by 3.25% since mid-September.

Also, it was reported today that the economy grew 0.6% in the first quarter.

The growth was the same as it was in the final quarter of 2007, reports Jeannine Aversa for the Associated Press. Therefore, according to the classic definition of the word "recession," we’re not in one. A recession would mean a retraction of the economy, not growth – no matter how feeble it might be.

Predictions had been that the gross domestic product (GDP) would weaken to 0.5%, and earlier this year the thinking was that the economy would actually shift into reverse.

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