The unemployment report for December was released just last Friday and the numbers were a bit stronger than expected. The headline rate came in at 5.00% yet the surprising facet was the number of new jobs created. Seasonally adjusted, there were 292,000 new jobs, much higher than anticipated. Mortgage rates for real estate investors should have reversed course and traveled higher but that didn’t happen. Instead, rates actually fell and appear to be in a relatively tight range for several weeks.

What has helped mortgage rates and bonds in general is the price of oil which has fallen to 12 year lows. Due in part to increased production but perhaps more importantly to a potential global slowdown as a result of China’s vain attempts to stop its economy from falling with a combination of monitoring trading in China’s stock markets as well as devaluing the yuan, the decreased demand for crude oil is driving prices at the pump lower yet at the peril of oil companies and the jobs they provide. The Middle East is also feeling the pain and in a much more determined way than here in the States or in Asia.

There is talk of yet another OPEC meeting to stem the tide of falling prices and while decreased production to drive prices higher there is also tension in the Middle East between oil producers Iran and Saudi Arabia which is keeping other Middle Eastern countries on edge. Geopolitical factors and the refugee crisis adds to the uncertainty as to the direction of OPEC. For investors here, many analysts are saying Wall Street has hit the bottom, regardless of relative stabilization in trading today. More and more, it appears that if, and that’s a big if, the Fed moves this year it won’t be until the June FOMC meetings, three months longer than the previous guess of a March bump in the Fed Funds rate.