Oct 25 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was set to openlower on Friday as expectations of continued U.S. monetarystimulus was eclipsed by worries that tighter cash markets inChina could put the brakes on the world's second-largesteconomy.
* Microsoft Corp cruised past Wall Street's quarterly profitand revenue forecasts on Thursday, helped by strong sales of itsOffice and server software to businesses, sending its shares upmore than 5 percent after hours.
* Sinopec Group, the parent of top Asian refiner SinopecCorp, wants to sell half of its two biggest shale gasacreages in Canada to spread costs and accelerate theirdevelopment, as the Chinese energy company focuses increasinglyon return of investment, an executive said.
* German business morale dropped for the first time in sixmonths in October, underscoring the fragility of a recovery inEurope's largest economy that is widely expected to pick upmomentum next year.
* Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's quarterly operating profitsurged 26 percent to a new record, matching estimates andpowered by a strong recovery in its memory chip business assmartphone sales growth eases sharply.
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.12 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were mixedaround -0.03 percent to 0.24 percent
* European shares, were up
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 281.8781;fell 0.12 percent
* Gold futures : $1350.2; was unchanged 0 percent
* US crude : $97.18; rose 0.07 percent
* Brent crude : $106.75; fell 0.22 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7125; fell 0.7 percent
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd : Billionaire investorWilliam Ackman announced on Thursday said he sold 6 millionshares in the company after a huge run-up in the stock, adding alarge pile of cash to his $11 billion hedge fund.
* Maple Leaf Foods Inc : The food processor haslaunched an auction for its bakery company Canada Bread, targeting Grupo Bimbo, one of the world's largestbread makers, as well as private equity, several people familiarwith the matter said.
* Saputo Inc : The dairy producer, looked likely totriumph in the battle for Australia's Warrnambool Cheese andButter Factory Company Holdings Ltd after hiking its bid by 14percent to A$449 million. [ID: nL1N0IE2C7] ANALYSTS' RECOMMENDATIONS
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadiancompanies reported by Reuters.
* Goldcorp Inc : RBC cuts target price of its U.S.listed shares to $36 from $37, says company continues toexperience capital and operating cost risk at Cerro Negro
* Mullen Group Ltd : CIBC raises rating to sectorperformer from sector underperformer; raises price target toC$27 from C$23 to account for the revenue opportunities for thecompany and its ability to continue to execute even through achallenging operating environment
* Potash Corp : Canaccord Genuity cuts price targetof its U.S. listed shares to $28 from $29 after the companylowered its forecast for 2013 potash sales volumes ON THE CALENDAR
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day
* Major U.S. events and data includes durable goods, UMichconditions and wholesale inventories
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