Daily Data Flow: S&P 500 Reaches Record Highs; Student Loan Debt an Increasing Problem; Nikkei Falls on Profit Taking

S&P 500 Surpasses Record (Bloomberg)
Data showing that economic growth slowed less than predicted and that concerns about Europe and its debt crisis were easing were partially responsible for the S&P 500 closing at an all-time high. ???It???s about time,??? said Robert Lutts, the president and chief investment officer at Cabot Money Management Inc. in Salem, Massachusetts. ???We???ve gone through two bear markets in the last decade and equity investors have been really challenged in their conviction to hold through that period of time, but I think that we???re at the beginning of a very strong phase for equities, not at the end.???

Student Loan Debt an Increasing Problem (CNBC)
So far in 2013, defaults in student loans have surged, and attempts to collect bad loans have fallen. “The Department is not pursuing collection remedies and borrowers are unable to take steps to remove their loans from default status,” wrote Assistant Inspector General for Audit Patrick Howard.

Nikkei Falls on Profit Taking (Reuters)
Investors looking to book profits on gains recently made by the Japanese market, thanks to the Bank of Japan’s inflation goals, have caused the Nikkei to fall 1.3 percent today. “The wider market has performed fantastically this quarter, so it’s only reasonable that as it comes to the end of the financial year and with some very pivotal concerns regarding Europe that there is some ‘happy profit-taking’,” said Stefan Worrall, director of cash equities at Credit Suisse in Tokyo.