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Moody's upgrades outlook on Home Depot

NEW YORK (AP) -- Moody's Investors Service upgraded its rating outlook on The Home Depot Inc. Wednesday on the expectation that the retailer's performance will continue to strengthen.

The credit ratings agency raised its outlook to "Positive" from "Stable", which means it may upgrade its rating in the future. The Home Depot's current investment-grade "A3" rating is unchanged.

Moody's said The Home Depot should benefit from improved execution, some recovery in the housing market and increased short-terms sales from rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy. The rating agency said the positive outlook also recognizes the impact of the company's improvement of key sales trends and operating margins on its credit metrics.

The Home Depot, based in Atlanta, operates about 2,250 home-improvement stores across North America.

Shares fell $1.91, or 3 percent, to close at $61.47.