Mortgage rates improved Tuesday as global financial markets showed signs of renewed confidence. The so-called TED spread, the difference between what banks and the US Treasury pay to borrow for three months, fell to 261 basis points today after peaking at 464 basis points October 10, indicating a significant thawing of credit markets. Stocks inched lower, the dollar higher. Oil prices fell to about $72 per barrel, down from $147 in July. No economic data will be released today.