NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Tobacco stocks will likely get a boost when negotiators finally come to terms on the long-anticipated landmark settlement.
Tobacco industry representatives and attorneys generals suing to recover smoking-related health costs are expected to wrap up discussions as early as Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Negotiators have apparently resolved the contentious issue of immunity from punitive damages. Anti-tobacco foes would agree to a ban on lawsuits seeking damages for past behavior; however, individuals can still sue for behavior in the future. In return, the tobacco industry would agree to add about $60 billion to its proposed package, bringing the total to about $368 billion.
Philip Morris Cos.'s stock (MO) rose 2 on Thursday to 47-1/2. RJR Nabisco Holdings Inc. (RN) jumped 1-3/8 to 35-7/8.
Separately, keep an eye on shares of Cablevision Systems Corp. The Wall Street Journal reported a joint venture controlled by News Corp. and Tele-Communications Inc. plans to acquire 40 percent of its sports programming assets, which include the Madison Square Garden properties, for about $850 million.
The deal, which is expected to be announced within days, puts about $2 billion overall value on the sports portion of Cablevision's Rainbow Programming Holdings. Cablevision plans to use the proceeds from the investment to pay down debt.
Cablevision's stock (CVC) rose 1-1/16 on Thursday to 49. TCI shares (TCOMA) rose 9/16 to 16-7/8. News Corp. (NWS) climbed 1/2 to 18-5/8.
-- Robert Liu