>Pulte Homes Inc. (NYSE: PHM) completed its $1.3 billion purchase of Centex Corp. (NYSE: CTX), making it the largest homebuilder in the United States. The news comes as signs appear that the worst housing slump since the Great Depression may be nearing its bottom. “The deal is both offensive and defensive,” Pulte Chief Executive Officer Richard Dugas told Bloomberg News. “We’re likely not to experience a lot of downside from here, but it’s quite possible that we could be operating in this tough environment for a while
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