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  • Fueled by private equity money and low interest rates, mergers and acquisitions are reaching a fevered pace as the year comes to a close.

  • An early rally lost steam on Wall Street as all of the major indexes closed lower, weighed down by energy and technology stocks.

  • Real estate brokerage Realogy said that is being acquired by an affiliate of private equity firm Apollo Management for about $6.65 billion in cash.

  • NAHB

    Last week the Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, was asked if the residential real estate market had bottomed.  He refused to answer the question.  But as we approach the New Year, that is arguably the biggest question in real estate.  The spring season is right around the corner, traditionally the busiest for buying and selling, and many believe it will tell the true story of the state of the market.

  • The private equity surge continues. About $60 billion in mergers and acquisitions deals just in the U.S. have been announced this morning. Apollo Management alone is involved in two of the four deals. The only buyout not involving a PE firm was an aggressive bid by Express Scripts for Caremark Rx – which was already entertaining a bid from CVS. CNBC’s Melissa Lee reported the story on “Squawk on the Street.”