Home Depot beats expectations in 3Q, but keeps its sights low for now

It looks like the weak housing market will keep hammering home improvement retailers for a while. Even while reporting earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations, Home Depot (HD) warned that it sees no short-term improvement in the housing market to boost its sales in the near future.

The largest home improvement retailer reported net income in the third quarter dropped 8.9% below the same time last year to $689 million, or 41 cents per share, which beat Wall Street's estimate by a nickel. Sales were down 8% and comparable sales were down 6.9%, led by a 7.1% drop in U.S. stores.