Mortgage rates eased slightly Thursday as stocks tumbled. Retail Sales for January grew unexpectedly by 1.0%, ending a six month slide. First time Jobless Claims came in at 623,000, a bit higher than forecast. Crude oil prices fell to near $34 per barrel. The House and Senate agreed on a compromise $789 billion fiscal stimulus package yesterday evening. The plan is expected to pass by the end of the week. Unfortunately, the proposed $15,000 homebuyer tax credit was dropped in the final version. Instead, the current $7,500 first time homebuyer tax credit will no longer contain a repayment provision.