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IN AUGUSTA


WEDNESDAY: Columbia County Chamber of Commerce professional development luncheon, topic is creating a network strategy; 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Be My Guest Catering, 4216 Washington Road, Evans; $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers; (706) 651-0018

THURSDAY: Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours; 5:30 p.m.; Fat Man’s Mill Cafe, 1450 Greene St., Augusta; free for members; (706) 821-1318

FRIDAY: Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce First Friday Means Business; 7:30 a.m.; Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St. S.W., Aiken; (803) 649-1200

IN WASHINGTON

TUESDAY: Institute for Supply Manage­ment releases manufacturing index for October, 10 a.m.; Commerce Department releases construction spending for September, 10 a.m.; Federal Reserve policymaker open a two-day meeting to set interest rates

WEDNESDAY: Federal Reserve policy­makers wrap up meeting, releasing statement at 12:30 p.m. Chairman Ben Bernanke holds a news conference at 2:15 p.m.

THURSDAY: Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims and third-quarter productivity data, 8:30 a.m.; Institute for Supply Management releases service sector index for October, 10 a.m.; Commerce Department releases factory orders for September, 10 a.m.; Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates, 10 a.m.

FRIDAY: Labor Department releases employment data for October, 8:30 a.m.

ON WALL STREET

With the S&P 500 about to end its best month in almost 40 years, many would be happy to cash in gains and start packing for the ski slopes. But some underperforming investors are being cornered into putting yet more money into U.S. stocks.

The S&P 500 on Friday closed its fourth week of gains and is up more than 13 percent in October alone. But many, including hedge funds, were caught wrong-footed by the rally.

Though some pullback might be expected this week, the clearer picture after the European deal “should give a green light for many of the funds to get back in risk assets,” said Robert Fran­cello, the head trader at hedge fund Apex Capital, which manages about $2 billion in San Francisco. “Hopefully we’ll be able to see some further gains into the year end.”

Hedge funds, among the equity market’s power players, are on average sitting on losses of 8 percent for the year, according to Hedge Fund Research. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is up for the year, if only a bit more than 2 percent.

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