Rates held steady Thursday as mortgage-backed securities gave back a portion of yesterday’s late gains. In economic news, weekly Jobless Claims fell to 265,000, well below the consensus forecast of 300,000, however the numbers may have been distorted by the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and resulting shorter work week. The National Association of Realtors reported December Pending Home Sales declined unexpectedly by 3.7%, partially due to a shortage of inventory. An increase of 0.5% had been expected. Yesterday, the Fed upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy, while also noting that international events will be a factor in future monetary policy decisions. Results from today’s 5- and 7-year Treasury auctions will be released at 1:00 PM.