Stocks are taking it on the chin again, this after multiple triple digit drops this week. The Dow looks to close out on a down note for the month of January, losing more than more 600 points. Investors had been looking for the initial Q4 GDP number and that count was released today and is viewed as adow closes out january on a down note disappointment.

After two successive quarters of respectable growth, including the 5.00% jump in Q3, GDP for Q4 was higher but not as high as investors had hoped for. Q4 GDP notched at a 2.6% annual pace. Something closer to 3.00% was the expected number. 2.6% is still enough to foster growth, yet something closer to 3.00% would have helped stocks recover some of the months’ losses.

Investors holding stocks and mutual funds are watching their portfolios shrink. It seems the United States is the only major player not trying to prime the economic pump with various currency moves. The European Central Bank recently announced a brand new quantitative easing program to begin in March extending into 2016. These moves are strengthening the dollar yet the other side of that coin makes our exports more expensive.

On the economic front here at home, it was reported yesterday that first time jobless claims came in near a 15 year low to 265,000, according to the Labor Department, falling by 43,000. It was expected that 300,000. The price of oil staged a small rally and along with fewer filings for unemployment benefits, the good news wasn’t enough to stave off another fall in valuations today. This is still all good news for mortgage rates and real estate investors can expect to find 15 year mortgage rates well below 3.00% and 30 year rates in the low 3.00% range. For the next few weeks, investors, home buyers and those refinancing can expect a favorable rate environment to continue.