Predictably, global markets surged on Friday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced another round of bond buying to help stimulate economy and bolster job growth south of the border. Here at home, The Canadian Real Estate Association is expected to report on existing home sales in August. Economists expect unit sales to be 9 per cent below year-earlier levels, and prices to be 1 per cent lower. And Statistics Canada will report on manufacturing sales in July. Economists expect a monthly drop of 0.6 per cent.
Here are the stocks we're watching today:
*Abercrombie & Fitch Co., the New York City-based specialty teen retailer of casual apparel, saw its shares climb by 5.4 per cent to $37.92 earlier this week on word it has hired Goldman Sachs to discuss spending after being pressured by activist investor Ralph Whitworth. Shares were up 1.6 per cent, or 62 cents, to close at $38.54 on Thursday. The stock is trading below the midpoint of its 52-week range of $28.64 to $77.49.
*Barrick Gold Corp., the world's largest gold mining company, saw its shares leap by 4.5 per cent, or C$1.57, to C$40.32 thanks to the Fed's quantitative easing announcement. Spot gold prices are now trading close to their high for the year and the December bullion contract jumped US$38.40 to $1,772.10 per ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange as buyers bought into the precious metal as a hedge against inflation.
*DHX Media Ltd., the Halifax-based media production company, is trading near a year high of C$1.55 after the company announced Turner Broadcasting has bought its preschool series Doozers, a co-production between DHX and The Jim Henson Company, to air on Turner's preschool channel Cartoonito in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, beginning in the fall of 2013.
*Western Digital Corp., the world's largest storage-drive maker, cut its current quarter revenue forecast as demand for hard disk drives has slipped, driving WDC's shares down by 3 per cent in after-hours trade. WDC now expects industry demand of 140 million hard drives in the current quarter, down from an earlier forecast of 157 million units. The company expects revenue of $3.9 billion to $4 billion for its first quarter 2012 that ends in late September. That's down from its prior forecast of $4.2 billion to $4.3 billion.
*Analogic Corp., the Wakefield, Mass.-based healthcare and security technology company, saw its shares rise by 11 per cent to $76.50 as the company said its fourth quarter earnings were 96 cents a share, and adjusted earnings rose 59 per cent to $1.32 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 77 cents a share. Analogic's revenue climbed 12 per cent to $151 million from the same period one-year ago.