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Thursday business briefs

Pilgrim's Pride pays $4.5M

to end immigrant probeFederal investigators will not prosecute Pilgrim's Pride Corp. for employing illegal immigrants and have dropped an investigation into the chicken producer and its workers, the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of Texas said Wednesday. The Pittsburg, Texas-based company in turn agreed to pay $4.5 million to a law enforcement fund at the Department of the Treasury and to improve how it screens prospective employees to ensure they are allowed to work in the United States, the office said in a statement.

Final federal bailouts made

to banks in 10 statesThe Treasury Department said yesterday it has pumped $29.3 million into 10 banks, which will be the last to receive investments as part of the taxpayer-funded program to shore up the financial system. The investments in the 10 banks are the last under Treasury's so-called Capital Purchase Program, Treasury officials said. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently extended the publicly derided bailout program, saying it will now focus on helping homeowners avoid foreclosures and small businesses getloans. The banks receiving the latest outlay are in Georgia, South Carolina, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota and Mississippi.Final '09 session is down,

but stocks up for the year

The stock market closed out a remarkable 2009 with a loss as investors bet the improving economy will lead the government to pull back on its stimulus measures. But stocks still managed their best year since 2003 as they recovered from the financial crisis and recession. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 120.46 points, or 1.1 percent, to 10,428.05. For the year, the Dow rose 1,651.66, or 18.8 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 11.32, or 1 percent, to 1,115.10. The S&P ended the year with a gain of 211.85, or 23.5 percent. The Nasdaq composite index fell 22.13, or 1 percent, to 2,269.15. The index ended 2009 with a gain of 696.12, or 43.9 percent.

From wire reports

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