Mortgage rates inched higher Wednesday as stocks rallied following last night’s deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff”. While much of the debate, including entitlement reform, was simply postponed, investors were relieved that simultaneous tax increases and automatic spending cuts were avoided, at least for now. In economic news, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index rose to 50.7, slightly above forecast. Construction Spending unexpectedly declined by 0.3%. Minutes from the December 12 FOMC meeting of the Fed will be released at 2:00 PM.