In a day that saw the Dow swing by more than 300 points, the Dow closed up 196.22 at 17361.17 while the S&P 500 also managed to close higher at 2020.87, up 25.88. This positive closing for the first trading day of February hopefully indicates a better month compared to December and January, wheredow closes higher both months ended lower than where they started. The Dow for instance lost more than 600 points in January coming on the heels of a negative December.

There really was no earth-shattering economic report that caused the ruckus, although the ISM number was weaker than expected when released this morning. This caused the Dow to fall by more than 120 points before ending up nearly 200 points higher. Oil prices also helped as West Texas crude finished up trading at $49.57 a barrel, the highest in almost a month. The ISM index is a report developed by the Institute of Supply Management and tracks manufacturing activity across the country. Anything above 50 indicates growth. The ISM for January was up slightly at 53.5, lower than the previous month’ accounting. Construction spending also showed a very slight gain, rising to a 0.4 annualized rate.

The benchmark 30 year FNMA 3.0 coupon erased earlier losses to close at 103.12, losing -3/32 during the day. Mortgage rates for real estate investors and home buyers across the board are still holding ground. The average 30 year fixed rate for a primary residence was 3.66% for a 30 year note, according to industry giant Freddie Mac. For real estate investors, financing costs with 25 percent down show 15 year rates still well below the 3.00% mark. This week, the two economic reports with the greatest monthly impact, the unemployment rate and the nonfarm payroll numbers for January will be released.