Mortgage rates inched higher Friday ahead of the extended holiday weekend. In economic news, November Durable Goods Orders rose 3.8%, which was nearly double the consensus forecast. Excluding volatile aircraft orders, however, the data fell short of expectations. The Core PCE price index, a key measure of inflation used by the Fed, increased 0.1% last month, and was a tame 1.7% higher than one year ago. New Home Sales rose by 1.6% to 315,000 annual units, matching forecast. Mortgage-backed securities markets will close early today. Seasons Greetings!