There was an outage at the NASDAQ around 12:15pm EST. At the time of this writing, the NASDAQ is still down. You will see the financial media and various news outlets making a big deal about this story. While it is a big deal to traders and speculators, a long-term investor really does not need to worry. In fact, the focus will go back to the meeting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming tomorrow. Remember that this makes for good TV only. If your time horizon is 5+ years, you have nothing to worry about.
My suggestion would be to read The Intelligent Investor written by Benjamin Graham. The edition I would recommend would be the one with commentary by Jason Zweig. You will learn about Graham’s discussion of the distinction between investing and speculation. Wall Street was unaware of this over fifty years ago. The financial media is still unaware of this dichotomy. The book also will introduce you to the famed, Mr. Market as well. It is a good way to start learning about behavioral finance. Irrationality can prevail during times such as these. A link to the book is as follows: http://www.amazon.com/The-Intelligent-Investor-Definitive-Investing/dp/0060555661/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377192202&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Intelligent+Investor.
I look forward to sharing more information with you in the future. Note that I will rarely talk about current events. As I have previously mentioned, you need to ask yourself if you will remember this story in ten years. If not, you can just watch the news coverage for entertainment value.