A low volume of trade characterized Thursday's session, the last of the week, as investors reportedly continued to sit on the fence. The Maof-25 index climbed 1.98% to 464.8 points and the TA-100 index rose 1.55% to 455 points by the end of today's session. The Tel-Tech index closed down 0.14%.
Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE), among the few to register gains yesterday on TASE, traded up around 6% throughout most of the session, but plunged 15.2% at closing on news of the imminent dismissal of 220 employees and the resignation of its chairman Benny Levin. The Nice rumor started at 15:30 and within 5 minutes the stock's turnover rose by NIS 5 million. Trade in Nice stock was discontinued for 45 minutes, and the stock closed on a surplus supply of NIS 1.5 million.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) dropped 0.28% at closing, while attracting the session's highest turnover at NIS 52 million. The company yesterday won a Buy rating from investment house UBS Warburg, which set a price target of $70 per share, which is 30% higher than its market price. Teva yesterday announced it had won approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration to exclusively market two generic drugs.
Traders do not believe that Prime Minister elect Ariel Sharon's moves to establish a national-unity government will help restore interest in the TASE. They believe that only concrete results will jump-start large-scale trading.
Koor Industries (TASE:KOR) closed up 3.1% and Makhteshim Agan Industries (TASE:MAIN), in which Koor owns 60%, closed up 3.2%.
Meanwhile, Menorah-Gaon Mutual Funds' CEO Shimon Segev said today that Tel Aviv stocks are a good Buy opportunity for long-term investors, but certainly not for speculators looking for a short-term profit. He believes that domestic interest rates will continue to drop together with American lending rates, which he believes will boost local stocks. He recommended that major investors amass shares for the long-term.
Formula Systems (Nasdaq:FORTY) closed up 2.3% as its subsidiary Mashov Computers rose 0.6%. Earlier in the session Mashov was up 3.5%.
Another Formula company, Magic Software (Nasdaq:MGIC), closed up 2%. Bank Hapoalim yesterday initiated coverage of the stock with a Buy rating, setting a $4.6 price target, 31% above its market price. Hapoalim predicted that Magic will finish its fourth quarter of 2000 with $6 million in losses. The bank's analysts also predict that the stock will not return to its peak price ($33 per share), but is still very likely to improve its performance in 2001. In addition, Magic yesterday announced an agreement with Proxima, a subsidiary of IBM, to market and sell products Magic's products in Italy.
Discount Investment (TASE:DISI) shares also went up today, gaining 4.3%. IDB Development (TASE:IDBD) jumped 3.8% and IDB Holdings (TASE:IDBH) rose 1.2%. Clal Industries and Investments (TASE:CII) ended trade up 4.7%.