Finance Beat 11/9/11

by Chet Galloway

Last year’s graduates facing record amounts of student debt A report from the Project on Student Debt stated average debt levels for college seniors were at an all-time high last week. The Project on Student Debt is an organization that seeks to increase public awareness about student borrowing, as well as provide cost-effective solutions for financing a college education.

The report noted the average debt for graduating seniors last year was $25,250. College degrees are becoming less valuable, yet more expensive. Average debt levels of graduating seniors have risen gradually throughout the last several years while earnings of those with bachelor’s degrees have fallen.

Financial markets Stocks started off the week positive with the DJIA up 85 points at 12,068, the S&P 500 up seven points at 1,261 and the NASDAQ up nine points at 2,965. Tuesday morning saw the markets quite nervous waiting for more news concerning the European debt debacle, only this time it was about Italy rather than Greece.

The indices pared early gains and the DJIA was up a mere eight points at 12,077, the S&P 500 up four points at 1,265 and the NASDAQ up 16 points at 2,712. Bond yields headed slightly higher on Tuesday morning following a drop of just less than three percent on Monday. San Diego-based stock Qualcomm Incorporated (QCOM) traded higher by about 13 cents on Tuesday morning at 57.05, which is 13 percent higher than what it traded at exactly one week ago.

— Compiled by contributor Chet Galloway. Data gathered from Monday’s and Tuesday’s open on Wall Street.