Mortgage rates improved slightly Friday as Personal Income showed a much larger decline than expected, due to the end of the government stimulus checks. The Core PCE price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation indicator, rose to a 2.4% annual rate. The central bank would like to see this reading drop below 2.0%. The Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index, which measures manufacturing activity, came in well above expectations. Stocks were lower as oil prices staged their biggest weekly gain in two months due to the shutdown of Gulf oil rigs in preparation for the approaching storm.