WASHINGTON — Anticipation is high that the Federal Reserve will announce some new step today to try to rejuvenate the U.S. economy and boost investor confidence.

Just what that might be is unclear.

One option would be an effort to drive long-term interest rates even lower to try to spur borrowing and spending.

A more modest step would be for the Fed to stress its readiness to do more should the economy weaken further.

Or the Fed might do or promise nothing further – not for now, anyway.

Yet Wall Street rallied Tuesday on hopes that the Fed will announce when its two-day meeting ends today that more help is on the way.

Chairman Ben Bernanke and other Fed officials have acknowledged the slumping U.S. economy and the threats posed by Europe’s debt crisis.

At the least, analysts expect the Fed to say or unveil something to signal that it’s willing to provide further support.

The Fed has kept its key policy lever, the federal funds rate, at a record low near zero since December 2008.

And it has said it plans to keep it there until at least late 2014.

Given that it can’t cut short-term rates any further, the Fed has tried to further reduce long-term rates by buying more than $2 trillion in Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

The idea is for those lower rates to help boost spending, hiring and economic growth.

Bernanke has sent no clear signal of the Fed’s next move.

He has said Fed officials need to see whether the economy can grow fast enough to accelerate hiring.

U.S. employers added just 69,000 jobs in May.

Since averaging a healthy 252,000 a month from December through February, job growth has slowed to a lackluster average of 96,000 a month.