News Summary: US rate on 30-year loan at 3.40 pct.
RATES BARELY BUDGE: Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages were little changed this week, staying near their record lows.
THE NUMBERS: The rate on the 30-year mortgage ticked up to 3.40 percent from 3.39 percent last week. Five weeks ago, the rate touched a record-low 3.36 percent. The average on the 15-year mortgage slipped to 2.69 percent, down from 2.70 percent last week and just above the record low of 2.66 percent reached three weeks ago.
HELPING HOUSING: The rate on the 30-year loan has been below 4 percent all year. Cheaper mortgages are helping drive a modest housing recovery.