Markets are starting the short week with stocks higher at the open. Investors are responding to positive comments from lawmakers that progress will be made in regards to the fiscal cliff. Adding to the party this morning was a better than expected Existing Home Sales for October and the Lowes, the #2 home improvement retailer, posting a 76% surge in 3rd quarter profits. mortgage bonds are feeling the pressure from stocks, which is pushing rates slightly higher for now. However, bond prices are still above support levels so we will continue a cautious floating bias. Markets are closed Thursday and will have a short day on Friday as many investors take an extended weekend.