Tel Aviv stocks are down by about 1% at mid-day Tuesday, after starting the day mixed with a negative bias.

Although the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange posted steep losses on Monday, Tamir Fishman portfolio manager David Levy said that Israeli investors are generally sitting tight on the fence until the February 6 prime ministerial elections.

The Maof-25 index is down by 1% to 463.3 points and the TA-100 index is off 0.9% to 453.7 points. The Tel-Tech index is losing 0.7%.

Koor Industries (Nasdaq:KOR) is losing 4.5% after its subsidiary, ECI Telecom (Nasdaq:ECIL), released a sharper earnings warning for the fourth quarter of 2000. Market sources say it would be dropping harder, but for its chemicals subsidiary Makhteshim Agan. Makhteshim Agan today said it will be acquiring exclusive worldwide distribution rights for five products from chemicals giant Syngenta. Makhteshim Agan is paying NIS 21 million for the rights to market the chemicals, which generate amalgamated turnover of about NIS 35 million a year. Last week Makhteshim Agan announced it had bought the rights to market two other chemicals that should generate NIS 88 million a year.

TheStreet Recommends

It's a weak day for bank stocks, which are down by about 1% on moderately high turnover. Phone company Bezeq is off 1.2% on a volume of NIS 9 million, after yesterday announcing an equity restructuring that will essentially block any new owner from regaining its investment by distributing dividends.

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) is down 1.2%. The generic drugs giant has been the center of attention on the TASE this week, losing a total of 10% since Sunday on enormous turnover, by Tel Aviv standards. From January 1, Teva stock has lost 25% of its value. Market players whisper that it's valued at 20% less than its peers.

On the other hand, Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) is shooting up 7.3% on high volume of NIS 15 million.