Stocks have done rather well over the past few days. The much anticipated unemployment report for October was released last Friday and while the rate actually went down to 5.8 percent and the number of new jobs created surpassed the 200,000 mark once again, the job count was less than what manyoctober unemployment rate economists expected.

Expecting 250,000 new jobs, 214,000 was the actual number. And while there are some who are cheering the fact that job growth has exceeded 200,000 for yet another month, that’s really not enough to jolt the economy.

At least we’re not shrinking, right?

The fact is we need a robust recovery but what we’re witnessing these past few years seems more like gray clouds instead of a sunny blue sky. Yes, the unemployment rate is gradually going down yet that number is skewed by the lackluster labor participation rate. The unemployment rate automatically goes down when people leave the workforce entirely. Leading up to 2000 and just before the  dot-com bust, new non-farm payroll numbers surpassed 300,000 regularly with an occasional 400,000+ monthly burst.

The result has been an economy that trudges along, gradually gaining ground while keeping a lid on mortgage rates. Real estate investors have enjoyed sub-5.00 percent rates for a few years now and it seems to be the norm. Yet historically, it’s not the norm. In 2005 the national average was 5.87 percent. In 2000 8.05 percent and in 1995, the average 30 year rate hit 7.93. When financing costs are at 4.00 percent or so, just comparing prevailing rates with historical data still means it’s still an ideal time to leverage.

And while the Fed has indicated the economy is still on a relative roll and job growth is consistent, many are thinking rates will rise sooner rather than later but that’s still simply not the case. We could still see sub-5.00 percent rates for investors well into next year while stocks continue gaining ground.