Tel Aviv stocks dropped 2% on Wednesday on a low turnover of NIS 238 million, completing three consecutive days of losses.
Despite the Nasdaq's gain on Tuesday, shares in Tel Aviv opened down 1% on Wednesday, with investors fearing the fallout from Cisco's financial report.
The continuing violence in the Mideast didn't help much either. The mutilated bodies of two Israeli teenagers, who yesterday went missing from the settlement town of Tekoa, were found today. In addition, one Israeli was killed and several Palestinians injured in yesterday's clashes in the territories. Several fresh incidents of violence were reported this morning. Traders fear that the security situation could escalate further.
The negative mood was further affected by pessimistic Nasdaq futures, and by the fact that the Nasdaq opened its Wednesday session with losses, which sent blue chips in Tel Aviv spiraling down 2.3% towards closing.
The Maof-25 index closed down 2.21% to 421.72 points, and the TA-100 index fell 2.15% to 413.25 points. Tech stocks slid 3.24%.
Shares of the IDB Group suffered losses. Discount Investments dropped 4.4%, and Clal Industries lost 5.2%. IDB Holdings slipped 0.7%, on a lively turnover of NIS 19 million. IDB Development closed down 3.4%, after today completing a NIS 180 million bond issue.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) bucked the trend adding 0.7% on a turnover of NIS 20 million. The shares opened on a positive arbitrage gap of 1.3%.
Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) lost 3.9%, Elron Electronic Industries (Nasdaq:ELRN) fell 5.6%, and Matav Cable Systems (Nasdaq:MATV) closed down 6.8%.
Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) fell 4% on a NIS 3 million volume of trade. The company's revenues dropped to $25.1 million in the first quarter of 2001, which is 30% less than in the fourth quarter of 2000. The firm's operating loss came to $14.5 million, which led to a net loss of $13.4 million for the quarter, compared with a profit of $3.1 million in the first quarter of 2000.
Makhteshim Agan rose by 3.4% on a NIS 19 million volume of trade. The shares dropped 1% at opening, but reverted to gains after the company announced that its revenues had increased to $236 million in the first quarter of 2001, and that its net profit grew to $20.6 million. That's 6% more in revenues than in the same quarter of 2000, and 20% more in net profit than in the first quarter of 2001.
Elbit (Nasdaq:ESLT) fell 4.2% on a turnover of NIS 1.5 million, despite a positive gap of 1.1%. The share seemingly reacted to the firm's weak financial results for the first quarter, which showed a loss of $2.4 million. That's in comparison to a profit of $16 million in the same quarter of the previous year.