Mortgage rates inched higher Friday in quiet trading. This morning, the National Association of Realtors reported December Existing Home Sales rose by 5% to an annualized rate of 4.61 million units, close to forecast. The increase is seen as further evidence of a gradually improving housing market. No other key data will be released today. Next week, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve will meet to discuss monetary policy. Investors will be focusing on Wednesday’s Fed statement and press conference. Also next week, Durable Goods Orders will be released on Thursday and advanced 4th quarter GDP estimates on Friday. The Treasury will hold auctions of 2-, 5-, and 7-year notes over three days, beginning Tuesday.