Fed ready to cut rates if necessary - McDonough

US - A top United States Federal Reserve official has offered an assurance that the central bank stands ready to lower interest rates if the economy faltered, but said it was unlikely such help would be needed.

'It is very likely that the US economy will do just fine,' but if that turns out not to be the case, 'we know what to do', said New York Fed Bank president William McDonough on Monday.

A dismal Midwest manufacturing report and a scaled-back sales forecast for retailing giant Wal-Mart cru