On Tuesday, the government offered encouraging data on the housing market. The Commerce Department reported that home construction rebounded in July, rising to the fastest pace in eight months and offering hope that housing has regained momentum after two months of declines. Home construction increased 15.7 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million homes
Applications for building permits, considered a good sign of future activity, also showed strength in July, advancing 8.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.05 million, after declines of 3.1 percent in June and 5.1 percent in May.
The July rebound reflected strength in single-family home construction, which rose 8.3 percent, and in apartment construction, which was up 33 percent.
Shares of Home Depot rose $3.20, or nearly 4 percent, to $86.79 in Tuesday premarket trading.
For the three months ended Aug. 3, Home Depot Inc. earned $2.05 billion, or $1.52 per share. A year earlier it earned $1.8 billion, or $1.24 per share.
Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research predicted earnings of $1.44 per share.
Revenue climbed nearly 6 percent to $23.81 billion from $22.52 billion. This beat Wall Street's forecast of $23.57 billion.
Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, rose 5.8 percent. In the U.S., the metric increased 6.4 percent. Sales at stores open at least a year excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.
Home Depot now foresees fiscal 2014 earnings of $4.52 per share. Its prior outlook was for $4.42 per share. Before that, the retailer anticipated earnings of $4.38 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings of $4.41 per share.
The chain maintained its guidance for full-year sales to be up about 4.8 percent from the previous year. Based on 2013's revenue of $78.81 billion, this implies approximately $82.6 billion. Wall Street predicts $82.5 billion.
Home Depot's smaller rival Lowe's Cos. reports its financial results on Wednesday.