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Autos, Housing, Energy: What to Expect Next Quarter

2014 Chevy Silverado
Source: Chevrolet
2014 Chevy Silverado

Stocks climbed on the final trading day of the first quarter, with the S&P 500 surpassing its closing high level of 1,565.15 set in 2007, as the relative calm surrounding the opening of Cyprus banks trumped a mixed bag of economic reports.

So, what is in store for the next quarter? Several CNBC reporters provided sector checks, highlighting what they are expecting for the upcoming second quarter.

Automotive Industry

The second quarter will have automakers smiling. It's been years since executives in the auto industry have been so enthusiastic about the state of their business.

(Read More: Car Buyers Taking Out Bigger Loans, Set New Record)

In the second quarter many of the factors that have driven stronger sales will not only continue, but could strengthen. The improving economy is the primary driver behind sales that are at the highest level since 2007.

In the second quarter, a big focus for the industry is the roll out of new models. The most watched being the new full size pick-ups from General Motors.

The redesigned Chevy Silverdao and GMC Sierra are hitting the market just as many small business owners and contractors are looking to trade-in their current trucks and upgrade their fleets.

-By CNBC's Phil LeBeau; Follow him @LebeauCarNews

Travel and Leisure

News that InterContinental has finally been able to sell its Park Lane hotel in London for $457 million to private investors from the Middle East may be a lead indictor for the travel and leisure industry in the quarter ahead.

Goldman Sachs predicts the big, asset-light lodging brands like I-H-G and Starwood should be able to further accelerate sales of the hotel properties they still own because buyers will return to the market armed with easier financing.

-By CNBC's Simon Hobbs

Cruise line CEO's will continue to face weak pricing and demand in the wake of Carnival's string of bad publicity and continued recession in Europe. Susquehanna warns not to be fooled by any positive year-on-year statistics, which will reflect more the very steep price cuts offered in the wake of the Costa Concordia tragedy in February of last year.

(Read More: Carnival Posts Lower Cabin Revenue, Cuts Year Revenue Forecast)

For the top three online travel agencies the trade off will continue between expanding internationally and generating lower margins. Evercore said Priceline is most compelling for T&L investors because it trades at a 20 percent discount to Expedia and roughly 50 percent discount to TripAdvisor.

Housing Sector

Here's what to watch for in the housing sector in the quarter ahead.

Spring is supposed to be the busy season, but a serve lack of inventory may push sales lower or at least keep them from surging ahead. Prices will push higher due do to this short supply.

(Read More: Map: Tracking the US Real Estate Recovery)

Watch for the possibly that foreclosures will ramp up as banks seem to be pushing more delinquent loans through the system more quickly. But hungry investors are ready and waiting, and that continues to be good news for home builders.

Expect to see new orders rise even more, but watch for slower delivers as the builders are lacking in both land and labor.

-By CNBC's Diana Olick; Follow her on Twitter @diana_olick

Social Media

In the quarter ahead, Facebook's impact of its ads will be in focus. Also, expect the company to extend mobile search as it looks at other ways to make money off of users on the go.

Meanwhile, Twitter will continue its push towards eventually going public. We'll see more ad renvue with more targeting tools and accurate metrics. And a music service is in the works.

Music is also a priority for other Internet giants: Google's YouTube, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are all working on streaming music services.

And for Zynga, and other social game makers, the hot topic is gambeling, and how regulatory changes could drive revenue.

-By CNBC's Julia Boorstin; Follow her on Twitter @JBoorstin

Energy Markets

Here's what to watch for in the energy markets in the quarter ahead. Since North America is drowning in oil, you'd expect more unconventional production from shale reserves and increased fuel-efficiency in cars—thanks to more drivers trading in their gas guzzlers for fuel-sipping vehicles—to curb gains in oil and gasoline prices this spring.

But the federal government's renewable fuels mandate could push gas prices into overdrive. Prices for the credits that refiners use to meet renewable fuels standard, known as Renewable Identification Numbers or "RINs" have skyrocketed recently. Traders called it "RIN-sanity'' as these prices soared to more than $1 a gallon by mid-March, from just a few cents a gallon late last year.

Many refiners now will be paying billions of dollars more than they bargained for to meet the renewable fuels mandate.

Some of them will likely pass at least part of the extra cost on to consumers, which traders say could help to fuel the traditional March to May rally in prices at the pump.

-By CNBC's Sharon Epperson; Follow her on Twitter @sharon_epperson