Israeli hi-tech firms badly hit in recent days by falling stock prices today rejoiced as markets soared after the United States Federal Reserve announced a 0.5% cut in key interest. Big-cap Israeli stocks led the pack, with data security giant

Check Point Software Technologies

(Nasdaq:CHKP) soaring 30% to $143.6.

Nasdaq finished up a record-breaking 14.2% to 2,616 points, while blue chips finished up a milder 2.8% - impressive, by Dow Jones standards. Joining Check Point were giants Comverse (Nasdaq:CMVT), which finished up 16.1% to $105.6, and Mercury Interactive (Nasdaq:MERQ), which before the Federal Reserve announcement had slipped 11%, and which later leaped 26.5% to $94.3. At just eight o'clock tonight the stock was going for $66 a share.

The wireless solutions sector, which had been taking a hammering recently, leaped on the news, with four of its companies making impressive gains. Netro Corporation (Nasdaq:NTRO) rose 23.1% to $8, Floware (Nasdaq:FLRE) gained 15.8% to $12.7 and Vyyo (Nasdaq:VYYO) topped the list by soaring 21.6% to $7.7.

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But the biggest leap in the sector belonged to Ceragon Networks (Nasdaq:CRNT), which today soared 28.1% to $15.4.

Gilat Satellite Networks (Nasdaq:GILTF) skyrocketed today by 34.1% to $32.2, after investment house Salomon Smith Barney reiterated its Buy rating of the stock, saying that recent weakness in the stock created a good opportunity. That's quite a recovery for the stock which had plunged 42% since December.

Other stocks on the rise were Lanoptics (Nasdaq:LNOP), up a sharp 31.3% to $11, and flash memory maker M-Systems (Nasdaq:FLSH), which is climbing 21.5% to $14.5.

CommTouch still dropping

One Israeli stock to go against the positive trend was CommTouch (Nasdaq:CTCH), which did rise 12.5% today before closing down 5.6%. The stock continues its 42% plunge from yesterday, following the release of a profit warning.

Another stock unfazed by such outside considerations as the interest rate cut was BackWeb (Nasdaq:BWEB), which finished down 11% to $10.