Nasdaq and escalating Mideast violence drag down TASE Sunday morning - TheStreet

The Sunday session on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Sunday is opening with mild drops following the negative mood on which Wall Street closed on Friday, when the Nasdaq Composite Index dived 3.4% and the Dow Jones shed 0.75%.

The ongoing crisis in the Middle East is also contributing to the negative mood in Tel Aviv. This morning in a shooting incident near the town of Ofrah in the West Bank, two people were killed and another five injured, all members of one family. Last Thursday there was a bus-bomb attack in Tel Aviv 15 people were wounded, and two IDF soldiers lost their lives in the terrorist attack near Gaza.

Meanwhile, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the peace proposal of United States President Bill Clinton.

Back to the floor, the Maof-25 index of blue chips is off 1% to 507.3 points, and the TA-100 index is shedding 0.6% to 491.4 points. The Tel-Tech technology index is diving 4%. Total turnover is low at NIS 26 million.

Technology shares are being pulled down by

Nice Systems

(Nasdaq:NICE), which is plunging 40%, on a similar negative arbitrage gap. The steep losses have been generated by the profit warning released by the company on December 28, that it will post higher than expected losses in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2000. The company predicts that revenues in the fourth quarter will total $39 million to $40 million, and that losses will come to six cents per share, against the forecast EPS of 58 cents. The company attributes its fourth quarter shortfall to the slump IT market in the Untied States.

Following the company's warning, investment houses covering the company downgraded the company's ratings and slashed their price targets.

Teva Pharmaceuticals

(Nasdaq:TEVA) is rising 3% on a similar positive arbitrage gap.