Reports this morning that the
may be looking to settle the multibillion dollar lawsuit filed against the tobacco industry sent stocks in the sector moving higher today. The
Dow Jones U.S. Tobacco Index
gained 3.3% over the course of the day, while the
American Stock Exchange Tobacco Index
The suit contends that the tobacco industry has made deceptive statements about the harmful and addictive effects of smoking. Reports today suggested that Attorney General
has assembled a team of lawyers to work on a possible settlement rather than pursuing the case in the courts.
rose 3.1% today to $45.99, while
( RJR) climbed 4.4% to $54.63.
, a leaf tobacco seller, rose 1.3%, and
, a maker of smokeless tobacco products, gained 3.6%.
British American Tobacco
rose 3.4% to $15.62.
A federal judge has already thrown out two of the four federal counts that the Justice Department is pursuing against the tobacco industry. The government is attempting to get one of those two dismissed counts put back in contention.