Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) jumped 15% today after settling a long-standing lawsuit.

So what: Anadarko settled an environmental lawsuit with the U.S. government for $5.1 billion, ending a battle that's lasted more than five years. This stems from the $18 billion acquisition of Kerr-McGee's oil and gas business nearly a decade ago. Kerr-McGee had spun off its chemical business just three months earlier to a company called Tronox, and included environmental liabilities, only to see Tronox go bankrupt in 2009. 

Now what: Sure, $5.1 billion is a lot of money, but investors seem to be cheering companies settling litigation right now. The payment also falls below a range of $5.2 billion to $14.2 billion, suggested by Tronox's bankruptcy judge late last year. Investors were clearly expecting a settlement, so just eliminating the cloud over Anadarko is seen as a positive today.