Markets have no doubt come back from their fourth-quarter doldrums in 2018, but after a U.S.-China trade deal, what can investors look forward to as the next market catalyst?

the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose a point during the month of April.

The index, a measure of homebuilder confidence, gained last month as industry experts cited strong demand in the spring. Compared to a year ago, however, the index is still down five points.

Once again, however, the rising costs of supplies could keep home prices rising, but that could be tempered if the current labor market remains robust.

“Ongoing job growth, favorable demographics and a low-interest rate environment will help to modestly spark sales growth in the near term,” said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz. “However, supply-side headwinds that are putting upward pressure on housing costs will limit more robust growth in the housing market.”

After a strong first quarter rebound for the capital markets, there still remains a wall of worry for investors, such as slowing global growth and inverted yield curves. Is this a reflection of a stock market rally without much substance, which is leading to traders shorting market leaders and investors relying too much on factor investing to save them?

Even with a December 2018 to forget, ETFs continued to amass assets to the tune of over $51 billion while mutual fund flows suffered. Mutual funds, bond and equity funds, in December lost a record $152 billion.

One would assume that outflows from U.S. equities in 2018 would also be evident in ETFs that have been purchasing the downtrodden shares in the three major indexes. However, that hasn’t been the case as ETFs received $314 billion worth of inflows despite a challenging 2018–a drop from the $466 billion the previous year, but given the challenges of 2018, an impressive figure nonetheless.

In the video below, Kathy Jones, chief fixed income strategist at Charles Schwab, Gabriela Santos, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, and Andres Garcia Amaya, founder and chief executive officer at Zoe Financial, examine market fundamentals and the factors that could drive markets higher in the second quarter.

For more market trends, visit ETF Trends.

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters!
Please enter your email address to subscribe to ETF Trends' newsletters featuring latest news and educational events.