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Earnings Preview: Home Depot 3Q

NEW YORK (AP) -- Home Depot puts up third-quarter numbers before the market opens Tuesday, and investors will be looking for any hint that rising mortgage rates and a more subdued housing market will affect sales.

Data provider CoreLogic this month said that a measure of U.S. home prices rose only slightly in September from August, a sign that prices are leveling off after big gains earlier this year.

Record-low interest rates and rising prices have fueled big sales at Home Depot, pushing company shares to an all-time high in May.

Analysts expect higher net income and revenue from the Atlanta home improvement retailer.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said earlier this month that the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.16 percent from 4.10 percent. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.27 percent from 3.20 percent. Still, rates remain near historically low levels.

Analysts will be looking for signs that spending on homes remains elevated.

WHY IT MATTERS: Strong sales would suggest that rising home prices and mortgage rates have not chilled the mood of consumers.

WHAT'S EXPECTED: Analysts are projecting that Home Depot Inc. will report net income of 89 cents per share on revenue of $19.17 billion, according to FactSet.

LAST YEAR'S QUARTER: Profit totaled 74 per share, excluding one-time items, on revenue of $18.13 billion.