In the past week, both commercial banks and investment firms have borrowed less over the past week from the Federal Reserve's emergency lending program, a hopeful sign some credit stresses are easing a bit.

According to the Federal Reserve, the daily average borrowing by commercial banks is $48.5 billion over the week ended Wednesday, down from $49.2 billion in average daily borrowing reported for the week April 8.

Investment firms drew $12.9 billion over the past week from the Fed program. That was down from an average of $17.6 billion the previous week.

The details of the financial institutions borrowing from the Fed program are not known.

These institutions pay interest on their loans at a rate of 0.50 percent.