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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Arkansas Business) -- A relatively positive report on job growth Friday wasn't enough to make investors more confident. Markets ending mixed on Friday after a day of muddled trading.

Investors focused on the tensions in Ukraine, where the region of Crimea was preparing for a referendum on whether to split away and become part of Russia.

Those developments offset optimism over a pickup in hiring by U.S. employers last month.

The Labor Department said companies created 175,000 jobs in February, topping economists' forecasts.

Still, December and January job figures were mediocre, and the harsh winter weather has closed factories, cut into auto sales, and caused existing-home sales to plummet for the last three months.

George's Inc. dealing with a recall

George's Inc. of Springdale, a privately held poultry firm, dealing with a product recall.

The company is recalling about 29,200 pounds of seasoned raw, chicken breast strips due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen.

The products were produced and packaged from Dec. 21 through Dec. 23 and were sold to distributors in Tennessee and Iowa.

Mid-South sales of Jonesboro purchase

Mid-South Sales of Jonesboro has purchased the fuel, lube and fuel services business of Hightower Oil Company of Plumerville, the companies announced.

The deal gives Mid-South, ranked No. 53 on Arkansas Business' list of the state's largest private companies, its eighth location in Arkansas.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Executives said Mid-South will retain most Hightower employees and will allow Mid-South Sales to gain new customers and broaden its business.

Mid-South Sales provides petroleum products and lubricants in Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Missouri.

The company also offers filtration and purification services.

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