The US Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation to avert the "fiscal cliff" by stopping most of the tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts.
A deeply divided and unproductive Congress wrapped up its final business before November's elections early on Saturday.
The United States Federal Reserve on Tuesday slashed a key interest rate by a hefty three-quarters of a percentage point, the biggest cut in more than 23 years, after a two-day global stocks rout sparked by fears of a US recession. "The Fed is very, very, very worried," said John Tierney, an analyst at Deutsche Bank.
The United States Treasury Department named two South African cousins as al-Qaeda financiers and facilitators, ordering a freeze on any US assets they may have and banning Americans from doing business with them. The treasury said Farhad Ahmed Dockrat provided funds to a trust used by al-Qaeda.