This blog post originally ran as a State of the Markets commentary by Darrell Cronk, CFA, President, Wells Fargo Investment Institute and Chief Investment Officer, Wealth and Investment Management

2019 begins with markets fixated on a myriad of key risks for this year. Through the holidays, I was asked many times: What would reinstate confidence and put the markets back on a steady path forward to continue this expansion cycle? I would propose five New Year’s resolutions that could certainly help.

October brought a significant drawdown across major U.S. equity indices. Fears over the potentially negative effects of tariffs and higher interest rates on global growth have been building for most of the year. We think the speed of interest rate increases (as opposed to their absolute levels) may have been the catalyst that spooked U.S. markets into correction territory, with technology bearing the brunt of the pullback. We are closely watching for additional risk-off signals. Credit spreads have widened, as is typically the case when volatility spikes. But, the fixed-income market isn’t showing signs of panic. The continued volatility in emerging markets bears watching. Against this mixed view of current market dynamics, we believe several factors support the case to sustain long-term U.S. growth equity allocations.

After the market closes on Friday, September 28, S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI will implement structural changes to the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS)—the classification standard they use to categorize companies by sector, industry, and sub-industry within their market indices. Only 3 of the 11 GICS sectors will be affected, but changes to those 3 will be significant. It’s important for equity investors—especially those who use index-tracking strategies—to learn what’s changing and understand the impact of the changes on key characteristics of these sectors.