The cooling of the housing market affects more than buyers and sellers. Home improvement company Lowe’s Cos. today reported earning shortfalls and a cut to its annual profit forecast.

From DowJones MarketWatch:

Lowe’s Cos. shares ended Monday’s trading session in negative territory after the retailer reported second-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ average forecast and cut its full-year profit forecast, citing pressure on consumer spending from higher energy prices and a slowing housing market.

This development will increase the scrutiny of the housing sales data that will be released this week.

Says a report on the upcoming numbers:

July home sales will be the chief focus of the markets, and the news probably won’t be very encouraging. “The upcoming week will be a reminder that all’s not well in the USA,” said Avery Shenfeld, senior economist for CIBC World Markets.

Shares of Lowe’s, the country’s second largest home improvement chain, fell almost 4 percent. The drop brought down shares at Home Depot Inc., as well.

KELLY BENNETT

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