Record sales at Home Depot on home fix-it boom

A banner quarterly report from Home Depot as stuck-at-home consumers filled their time with do-it-yourself house projects.

The home improvement retailer posted record quarterly sales on Tuesday with paint, tools and other items flying off store shelves. Sales were so strong they were more than double Wall Street forecasts...

And that fueled a near 25 percent surge in quarterly profits, which helped absorb the $480 million expense last quarter for store improvements and higher employee costs during the health crisis.

The U.S. housing market has outpaced the broader economy thanks to record-low mortgage rates and a real-estate boom in the suburbs at the expense of densely-packed cities. More evidence of that came on Tuesday. A surge in homebuilding extended for a third straight month in July, according to data released by the Commerce Department. New home construction projects soared nearly 23 percent last month, which was a far bigger jump than expected.

Home Depot, no doubt, gets a piece of that action too – thanks to its relationship with professional contractors.

Shares of Home Depot have soared 30 percent so far this year, but doubts the retailer can duplicate its recent rapid sales and profit growth sent the stock modestly lower Tuesday.