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IN AUGUSTA

TODAY: Meybohm Realtors Career Night, learn about the local market and how to obtain a real estate license, 7 p.m., Meybohm-Scarborough Insurance, 3512 Wheeler Road, Augusta; free; (706) 739-1028 or soutley@meybohm.com

Tuesday: How to Buy or Sell a Business, 7:45-11 a.m., Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. E., Aiken; free for members and $25 for nonmembers; (803) 641-1111

Thursday: Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Augusta State University's Maxwell Alumni Center, 2339 McDowell St., Augusta; free for members, $20 for nonmembers; (706) 821-1318

FROM WASHINGTON

TODAY: Treasury releases federal budget for August, 2 p.m.

TUESDAY: Commerce Department releases retail sales for August, 8:30 a.m.; Commerce Department releases business inventories for July, 10 a.m.

WEDNESDAY: Federal Reserve releases industrial production for August, 9:15 a.m.

THURSDAY: Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, 8:30 a.m.; Labor Department releases the Producer Price Index for August, 8:30 a.m.; Commerce Department releases current account trade deficit for second quarter, 8:30 a.m.; Treasury releases international money flows data for July, 9 a.m.; Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates

FRIDAY: Labor Department releases Consumer Price Index for August, 8:30 a.m.

ON WALL STREET

NEW YORK --- If you believe a few respected money managers, there's opportunity aplenty in stocks now. If you find that surprising, wait until you hear where they think the bargains lurk: big blue chips that almost always fetch premium prices.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO LLC in Boston says the U.S. faces "seven lean years" of meager growth, but he has been pounding the table about blue chip bargains with big dividends. Steven Romick of FPA Crescent predicts rising taxes and an economic malaise but is singing the praises about "bigger is better" stocks now, too.

Tempted? The Dow Jones industrial average of 30 big stocks, a proxy for blue chips, rose for a second consecutive week Friday. But jitters over European debt and slowing U.S. economic growth have taken a toll. The index is down nearly 7 percent from April.

Bill Miller, the chief investment officer at Legg Mason who beat the broader market for 15 years before a much publicized stumble recently, is jumping in. In a July investor letter, he called blue chips "bargains" and urged investors to seize this "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." Among Legg Mason's top holdings in its flagship fund, The Value Trust, are blue chips Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and IBM.


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