What does the current state, and the likely future, of the American real estate market mean for companies like Home Depot and Lowe's? We break down the numbers to see which (if either) is a good investment.
Given the market's extreme and distressing gyrations over the past week, you'd be forgiven for thinking corporate earnings had been, on the whole, disappointing. But that's not actually the case: A large majority of public companies have performed quite well.
Over the last few years, Home Depot has expanded its retail stores aggressively, adding more than 200 outlets annually. However, the firm has recently embarked on a $1.1 billion program to improve its Web presence while dramatically reducing the number of new store openings to around 10 in 2011.