While there was a lot of worry in the U.S. markets this week, and talk of such things as "sub-prime meltdown" and "credit crunch" which caused jumpiness and panic selling-- it was likely not the signal of the big stock market "correction" that has been anticipated for months. The fact that the overall tone of the month was gloomy and pessimistic, had too many investors on guard for a sell-off. A big crash event, should it be a single event that sets the downturn in motion, would most likely happen at a much less expected time-- when there was more optimism. It should not take more than a few days for the market to start its tenuous climb back up again, or at least make an attempt. This is not to say the days before a good downturn are not numbered; it is just not likely imminent (i.e. the next week or so). It was actually refreshing to see the denial stripped away briefly, but unfortunately both people and their denial are resilient.
As far as the increase in noticeable paranoia this week, such as more frequent discussions of terrorism, and the perception of an increased liklihood of something bad happening due to an outsider with an agenda-- indications are that this component of U.S mood will continue for at least another two weeks (Note: I am not saying these fears are unfounded-- recall that just because one is paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get them. However, just because the paranoia is up, doesn't mean that a terrorist attack is any more likely now than it was last week before this mood change occured).