Tel Aviv stocks ended Sunday with firm gains fueled by quiet times and hopes of real attention to Israel's economic problems.
Stocks sustained gains of about 2% on Sunday after the American independence day passed with no untoward incidents, barring the attack at the El Al desk at the Los Angeles airport.
American stocks did well after the July 4 jitters, which lifted stocks worldwide. Investors are also cheered by the quiet on the home front and the news of diplomatic talks between the prime minister and Egyptian representatives.
On the flip side, investors are depressed about the emanations of gloom coming from last week's "Caesarea conference", which took place in Jerusalem. No economic rally without peace, agreed the participants, who were the cream of the Israeli economic and corporate scenes.
The Maof-25 index finished 1.8% up, tech stocks finished 1.7% higher and the Tel Aviv-100 index gained 1.4%.
Turnover was razor-thin at NIS 147 million, as befits a summer day with many of the market players abroad, and just as many sitting astride the fence. As Noam Kushlevitch of Meitav pointed out, on such low turnover, today's gains are meaningless. Also, the gains were led by dual-listed stocks, with the insurance companies and banks hardly taking part, he said.
IDB group stocks ended strong: IDB Holding Corporation is up 2.7% and sister company IDB Development Corporation rose by 2.2%. Discount Investments gained 3.4% and Clal Industries rose 3%. None of the above are listed anywhere but Tel Aviv.
Partner Communications (Nasdaq, TASE:PTNR, LSE:PCCD) rose by 2% after falling 12% last week on heavy selling by an American institutional investor, and by Israel's Polar Investments. On the last day of last week, Partner corrected upward and is starting today on a positive arbitrage gap of 2.7%.
Altogether Partner stock has lost 12% over two days, perhaps indicative of institutional feelings that it had become overpriced.
Partner meanwhile firmly denies market rumors that it is discussing a merger with the Barak long-distance carrier. Barak refuses to comment.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) spent the day hovering at a 2.2% gain after today announcing yet another FDA okay, this time for oxaprozin, the copycat version of Daypro, made by New Jersey 's Pharmacia Corporation (NYSE:PHA). Last week Teva announced that the FDA has approved its ANDA for Tizanidine, in 2 and 4 milligram tablets, used to treat muscular spasticity. The proprietary drug sells for $178 million a year. On July 1 the FDA approved two forms of lisinopril, used to treat hypertension. The drugs are expected to produce sales of $80 million a year, and a net profit of $8 million.