I am glad to be back in Louisville after a three-day hiatus in Washington, DC to attend the NAMB Legislative Conference. Mortgage rates dipped Thursday as weekly Jobless Claims rose unexpectedly to 496,000. Durable Goods Orders were mixed. Total orders rose 3.0%, beating forecast, but excluding aircraft, orders fell -0.6%, well below expectations. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Senate Banking Committee today. Yesterday, speaking to the House Financial Services Committee, Bernanke suggested that holding the Fed’s portfolio of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) would be enough to support the mortgage markets, and he doesn’t anticipate any MBS sales by the Fed in the near term. Investors will be watching to see what happens to interest rates when the Fed concludes its MBS purchase program at the end of March. The Treasury will hold an auction of 7-year notes this afternoon at 1:00 PM. No other data will be released today.