Mortgage rates inched higher Thursday following the release of stronger than expected economic data. Weekly Jobless Claims fell to 404,000, below the consensus forecast of 425,000. Investors are hopeful that we are now in an average range close to the 400,000 level, down from the 450,000 level maintained throughout much of 2010. Existing Home Sales surged in December to 5.28 million annual units, a seven month high, easily beating expectations. The median home price fell 1% from one year earlier, to $168,800. Leading Indicators rose 1.0%. An increase of 0.6% had been forecast. No other key data will be released today.