Israeli shares on Wall Street are posting gains as the Nasdaq Composite index rises 1.5%. While not a spectacular rise, it is significant in light of the 12.3% plunge by

Nokia

(NYSE:NOK). Nokia's stock is in freefall, following its announcement that sales for its fourth quarter have fallen considerably short of all forecasts.

Gilat Communications

(Nasdaq:GICOF) has gained 12% to $1.8, and inexplicably, Israel's Magic Software Enterprises (Nasdaq:MGIC) has jumped 16.2% to $2.7.

Check Point Software Technologies

(Nasdaq:CHKP) is trading up 3.4% to $114.5.

The Dow Jones is off 0.5% after posting mild gains earlier on. Chemical and financial shares are fuelling the drop, after analysts announced that both of these sectors are likely to be affected by an expected slowdown in the American economy.

Meanwhile, Mercury Interactive's (Nasdaq:MERQ) has jumped 11.1% to $67.5. On Monday, Mercury shares had lost 9%, even though Prudential upgraded its rating from Accumulate to Strong Buy.

BackWeb (Nasdaq:BWEB) is up 13.3% to $2.9. Investors had trounced the company after it had announced that its fourth-quarter results would be disappointing. Investment house

Goldman Sachs

today said that it is slashing BackWeb's 2001 revenue forecast from $74 million to $51 million. The bank cut its EPS for 2001 from 22 cents to 16 cents. Meanwhile, the William Capital Group investment house has downgraded BackWeb from a Buy to a Hold. Today's gains indicate that investors believe the current stock price has already incorporated the downgraded projections. BackWeb shares have shed 36% since the company released its profit warning for the fourth quarter.

Vyyo's

(Nasdaq:VYYO) stock is up 10.3% to $7.4, after the company received an aggressive recommendation from investment house Tucker Anthony. The investment house upgraded its recommendation from a Market Perform to a Strong Buy. A month ago the bank had downgraded its recommendation for Vyyo on fears that the company would be negatively affected by the deployment of MMDS frequencies in the United States, and by the allocation of frequencies for third-generation wireless communications providers. The bank says that its upgrading has much to do with the share's current low price, which is 45% below its flotation rate.

Precise Software Solutions

(Nasdaq:PRSE) is on a downward trend, shedding 13.6% to $14.3. That follows its 25% drop yesterday, and the sale of its stock by investor

Jerusalem Venture Partners

.

Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) is off 5.1% to $17, while in Tel Aviv the stock jumped 10.2% today. The shares have lost 60% since last week when the company released a profit warning for its fourth quarter. Yesterday Nice stock rose 20% in NY.