It will be a few weeks before we get an initial read on Q4 GDP. Coming fresh off the heels of a 4.6 and 5.0 quarterly GDP gain, investors want to see a definite trend. Worldwide there aren’t very many places to safely invest as economies both in Europe and Asia are having their own troubles.

The U.S.Q4 GDP forecast seems like a safe bet. Safer for those investing in U.S. Treasuries or mortgage bonds. Wall Street has been extremely volatile as of late as investors try to make sense out of what lower oil prices will do for the global economy.  Today, oil futures hit a low not seen since mid-2009 and what started out as a strong day on Wall Street, there was a sudden turnaround and stocks erased a 282 point gain into a negative. This after a 320 point drop on the Dow just yesterday. An aberration?

Let’s take a look at recent data to get a hint on what we might expect for Q4 GDP. The Chicago Purchasing Manager’s Index came in at 58.3 in December. Anything above a 50 reading indicates expansion and while 58.3 shows that it was still a tad below expectations. Looking deeper in the numbers and you can see that new factory orders fell, production dropped and backorders fell as well. One might be able to expect that during the last month of the year yet a contraction for the 4th quarter may not be out of the question. If these numbers continue in other regions, don’t look for anything close to Q2 and Q3 GDP numbers.

Construction spending fell unexpectedly as well to -0.3% while most expected an increase.  Factory orders nationwide fell -0.7% while investors were expecting something closer to -0.4%. While the job market did produce 252,000 new jobs following November’s 353,000, markets focused instead on lower wages. When you look at these numbers, it shows contraction, not expansion, in some very important sectors. Investors will be looking closely at upcoming reports for any other signs of a pullback. If so, watch for the Dow and S&P 500 to make a few corrections. Maybe we’re seeing them now?