Mortgage rates inched higher Thursday morning, although mortgage-backed securities rallied following comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Speaking before the Joint Economic Committee in Washington, DC, Bernanke provided no specific commitment of Fed easing, but indicated the Fed is “prepared to take action…in the event that financial stresses escalate”. This morning, weekly Jobless Claims fell to 377,000, a bit below forecast. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported average 30-year fixed rates hit another record low last week at 3.67% with 0.7 “points”. In a surprise move, China announced its first rate cut since 2008 in an effort to boost economic growth. No other data will be released today.