Homebuilders are climbing after the Mortgage Bankers' Association, or MBA, earlier today reported that mortgage applications increased during the week ended January 4, compared with the previous week. The association's composite index, which combines purchase and refinance applications, jumped 11.7% versus the previous week. This was the first time in three weeks that the index has increased. In mid-afternoon trading, Lennar (LEN) rose 1.46% to $41.77, PulteGroup (PHM) added 1.13% to $19.72, KB Home (KBH) gained 1.04% to $16.58, D.R. Horton (DHI) moved up 2.27% to $21.20, Hovnanian (HOV) jumped 4.60% to $46.55 and the Ryland Group (RYL) advanced 1.81% to $38.91.