Mortgage rates held steady Monday ahead of a spate of economic data due out this week. The National Association of Realtors reported an unexpected 6.5% increase in Existing Home Sales in December. The median home price nationally fell 15% from a year earlier. Leading Indicators rose 0.3% last month, exceeding forecast and registering the first increase in six months. Stocks moved higher on the reports. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve begins a two day meeting tomorrow. Policy makers are considering options for holding down long-term interest rates, including the purchase of longer-maturity Treasury securities. Some analysts have warned that such a move might distort the Treasury market and undermine the dollar, discouraging foreign central banks and sovereign wealth funds from buying Treasuries. Traders will be following the meeting closely even though short-term interest rate policy is expected to remain unchanged.