Mortgage rates eased Thursday following yesterday’s FOMC meeting. The Fed announced plans to gradually reduce weekly purchases of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but extend the phase-out of the program by three months, until March 2010. MBS markets reacted favorably to the announcement. In economic news, weekly Jobless Claims fell to 530,000, less than forecast. Existing Home Sales declined 2.7% in August. A small increase had been expected. Stocks and oil prices moved lower. Durable Goods Orders for August will be released tomorrow.