Money Minute: Yearly Rise in College Costs Eases; Is Panera Stock Toast?

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The rapid rise in college tuition is moderating. That's one of five money stories you need to know Wednesday.

In-state tuition at four-year public colleges increased by just 2.9 percent in the current school year. The College Board says that's the smallest increase since 1975. The average tuition is $8,900. Add in room and board, books and other costs, and the bill rises to $22,800 a year. Tuition increases at private collages and universities has also moderated -- up 3.8 percent to an average of more than $30,000 a year. A full-ride at those private schools now averages $44,750.

Another day, another record high for the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC). It rose 10 points Tuesday, to its fourth straight all-time high. The closely followed index is now up 23 percent for the year, and if it ends the year with that gain, it would be the best performance in a decade. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained 75 points and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) gained 9.

A Panera Bread Restaurant Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Panera Bread (PNRA) is making more bread -- the green kind -- but its stock may be toast. Panera's quarterly profit rose 17 percent from a year ago, but investors were disappointed by lackluster sales growth and a tepid forecast for the rest of the year.

President Obama's chief economic adviser says the partial government shutdown earlier this month cost the U.S. at least 120,000 jobs. Jason Furman also says it cut the nation's GDP in the current quarter by a quarter of a point. He says a lot of the loss came from a decline in consumer and business confidence. That slowed down retail purchases and made a lot of employers delay hiring.

And great news for drivers. AAA says the average price for a gallon of regular is now $3.34. That's down 30 cents from this time a year ago, and it's a big drop from early this summer when prices spiked to more than $4 in many areas. This follows a sharp drop in crude oil prices, which fell Tuesday to their lowest level since June. A lot of that is the result of higher supplies because of a jump in domestic production.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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26 Comments

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Bridget Graham

"collages"? are you kidding me?!

October 27 2013 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Freddy De Joint

I use to work for panera as a General Manger, while the food can be very good, just remember, when you tak away fat and suguar, you are left with salt for favor, that's panera food

October 23 2013 at 7:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JIM MURPHY

their pastries were the best, but something happened in their need to reduce costs. Most of their pastries have become tasteless. Bear claws as an example were great. Now the filling is an unknown mixture, certainly not nuts. Quit going. Too bad. Really enjoyed the atmosphere. Ask for a pastry, and they take one from behind the display. Wrong move, but when you question them, they say its fresh. Lost some good customers.

October 23 2013 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DaltonCooper

I wish someone would explain how the shutdown cost 120,000 jobs.

October 23 2013 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DaltonCooper's comment
cheryld

While I can guess at some answers, I was wondering just what the heck they were talking about there too. Of course these kind of sound bite reports are quite notorious for leaving out the meat & potatoes of the information and just grabbing whatever will make a headline for them - sigh...

October 23 2013 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
katmogie

panera is to expensive and not all that healthy, but i do enjoy many of of the idems they sell. last saturday went in for a bowl of chicken noodle soup, or should i say a bowl of broth, there was 2 very small pieces of chicken, a few noodles and carrot, took it back, they gave me another bowl, but i don't think they were happy about it

October 23 2013 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jozey57

Maybe more people have time to make their own bread.

October 23 2013 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mlaurel58

Certainly college costs are high, but there is always the GI Bill to help....of course, that requires some effort, sacrifice, and planning, but for those willing & able it is an alternative.

October 23 2013 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rsmkhend

Tried Panera. Very over priced and not very healthy! We considered their soups for my older parents. But once we found out the salt+ numbers and more, we departed quickly and have never been back!

October 23 2013 at 1:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
crimeslawyer

Why is tuition so high? Because government student loans give colleges an endless source of money. Stop the welfare state.

October 23 2013 at 1:10 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
rtgarton

Could care less about Panera. Overpriced to begin with. Walked in walked out.

October 23 2013 at 1:10 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply