IMPROVING sentiment over healthcare might not be enough to overcome anxiety that is now buffeting Wall Street as investors look for new catalysts to push ahead a year-long rally in US stocks.

In the coming week, housing will be a dominant theme with the release of February existing home sales tomorrow and a report on February new home sales on Wednesday. Investors will pay close attention to home sales because the housing sector is still struggling with a tide of foreclosures after the subprime mortgage crisis that surfaced in 2007 and helped push the US economy into one of the worst recessions since the 1930s. A stronger housing market is deemed crucial to the US economy’s health.

On Friday, the focus will turn to the government’s final reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product and the final word on March consumer sentiment from the Reuters/University of Michigan surveys. Investors will be hard pressed to see if the reports offer more evidence that the US economic recovery continues to gain traction.