Mortgage rates improved slightly Tuesday on weaker than expected economic data. Consumer Confidence fell to a reading of 48.5, the lowest level since February. Separately, the Case-Shiller 20-city seasonally adjusted home price index declined 0.1% in July, in line with expectations. The Wall Street Journal reported that Fed officials are considering a plan to make smaller-scale purchases of Treasury securities with an open-ended time frame. This approach would give the Fed more flexibility to make adjustments. It would also make Fed actions harder to predict, which could increase volatility in mortgage-backed securities markets. Stocks were little changed. Results of today’s 5-year Treasury auction will be released at 1:00 PM.