Mortgage rates inched higher Wednesday following the release of weaker than expected housing data. Existing Home Sales fell 5.3% in January, exceeding forecast. The rate spread between Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities widened on the report. “Distressed” properties accounted for 45% of all sales activity last month. Stocks fell sharply. The data reflects conditions prior to the passage of the $787 billion economic stimulus plan. Durable Goods Orders will be released tomorrow.