ADDISON, Texas (


) --

Palm Harbor Homes


shares surged by double-digit percentages Wednesday morning amid heavy trading.

Palm Harbor, a manufacturer and marketer of factory-built homes, saw its shares bid feverishly higher in early trading, up 8.6% an hour into the session, off earlier highs.

The sharp percentage gain amounted to just 1.2 cents, however, since Palm Harbor shares trade around 14 cents apiece.

Still, the gain placed Palm Harbor's stock on a list of the Nasdaq's top gainers Wednesday.

Around 609,000 shares had already changed hands, compared with their average daily trading volume of 747,000.

Palm Harbor draws very little analyst attention these days, and hasn't seen any broker action for more than three years, according to

. In September 2007 analysts from BB&T Capital Markets downgraded the stock to hold, from buy.

Sales of newly built homes unexpectedly fell 8.1% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 283,000 the Commerce Department said Wednesday morning, up from

a rate of 307,000 in September.

>>New-Home Sales Fall 8.1% in October

The government report estimated that, at the current sales pace, there was an 8.6-month supply of new homes on the market at the end of October, up from a 7.9-month supply at the end of September. There were a total of 202,000 new homes available for purchase during October, the lowest level since June of 1968.

The median sales price of a new home fell a record 13.9% in the month to $194,900, the lowest level since 2003. October's median new-home sale price was 9.4% lower than in the year-earlier month.

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New-home sales declined in most areas of the U.S., led by a 23.9% drop in the West, 20.4% in the Midwest and 12.1% in the Northeast. In the South sales gained 3.1%.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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