Refreshed from the Christmas holiday, Wall Street is opening with moderate gains. The Nasdaq Composite index is adding 0.6% and the Dow Jones is up 0.2%.
Despite the apparent cheer, it is believed that the Nasdaq will be hard put to repeat its impressive 7.6% leap of last Friday. At any rate, the holiday season so far is characterized by slim turnover.
The Nasdaq lost an aggregate 38% in 2000. But maybe it will end the year on a more positive note. (Maybe not.) Investors surmise it could happen, given how low stock prices have fallen: many are a good buy opportunity.
In addition, some believe the Federal Reserve Board will cut key interest rates again, which could also lift stocks.
Of course, on the flip side, shares could continue to be dragged down by the spate of profit warnings released of late, and on growing quivers that the American economy is heading for a recession.
Israeli shares are opening mixed. So-called semi-Israeli shares are sliding in the limelight:
(Nasdaq:NTRO), for one, is plunging 20% to $6.8 after releasing a profit warning before opening today.
Netro does not have any business activity in Israel any more. It was founded by Gideon Ben-Efraim and financed by several Israeli funds. Netro announced that it expects its revenues in the fourth quarter of 2000 to come to $21 million to $22 million, 30% short of Goldman Sachs' forecast that sales would total $27 million. Meanwhile, Netro announced that it expects the margin of profit to slip as low as 18%, against the predicted 27%.
Netro blames its shortfall on its main customer,
(NYSE:LU), which put off several orders from the second quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2001.
Among big-cap Israeli companies,
(Nasdaq:CHKP) is down 4% to $137 after jumping 21.8% last Friday. Like other big-cap Israeli companies such as
(Nasdaq:MERQ), Check Point too posted strong yields in the course of 2000. All three companies have been attracting high attention lately, thanks to the window dressing effect - when portfolio managers increase their holdings in those shares that proved themselves strong during the year.
(Nasdaq:FLSH) is adding 9.6% to $15. The company today announced that it will be providing Virtual Resources Communications with DiskOnChip for next-generation broadband access products. M-systems did not release any financial details on the deal. Last Friday, M-Systems stock climbed 14.1% after hitting a record low of $11.9.