Bad weather, lousy economy hammer Lowe's Q2 results

The housing crisis is still punishing Lowe's (LOW). The hardware store chain today posted lower than expected earnings, cut back its forecast for the rest of the year and put some expansion plans on hold to deal with skittish consumers who are still biding their time before embarking on home improvements.

The company reported net income of $759 million for the quarter ending July 31, a 19.1 percent drop from the same time a year ago; this translated into an earnings per share of 51 cents. Sales dropped 4.6 percent to $13.8 billion, and fell by an average of 9.5 percent in stores open at least a year.