Tel Aviv stocks are down 2% after starting the Sunday session with a 1% dip. Market players blame the blah on Nasdaq's steep 4.4% drop on Friday. But turnover is paper-thin at NIS 75 million ahead of prime ministerial elections on Tuesday.
The Maof-25 blue chip index is down 1.8% to 448 points and the TA-100 index is losing 1.7% to 438 points.
The Bezeq phone company is the liveliest stock on the TASE, losing 2.2% on turnover of NIS 18.4 million. Bezeq has been losing ground as analysts surmise that its privatization will be hindered by the shaky security situation in Israel. It doesn't help that Ofek The New World of the Eurocom group last week received a license to compete with Bezeq, a monopoly, in the domestic arena. (Not that this will happen right away. Ofek says it will be ready to roll in about nine months.)
Bank Hapoalim is down 1.1% on turnover of NIS 8.4 million. Bank Leumi is off 1.5%. Neither is apparently reacting to the Ma'ariv story this morning that ABN Amro and Citibank are considering filing bids for the controlling interest in Leumi, which the state says it wants to sell by July.
Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) is closing an opening negative arbitrage gap of 2.6% on high volume. Its shares are down 2.7%.
Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) is falling by 2.7% on hefty volume of NIS 6.2 million, despite opening on a slim positive arbitrage gap of 0.4% with Nasdaq. On Thursday - the last trading day of the week in Tel Aviv - Nice dived 12.3% after announcing that no, it is NOT in talks to be bought by Comverse or anybody else. Also, the market is whispering that Nice is planning to cut 100 jobs out of its 400-man Israeli workforce.
Retalix (Nasdaq:RTLX) is also active today, losing 8.4%.
Metalink (Nasdaq:MTLK) is losing 11% following a 9.9% negative gap on Nasdaq. Oppenheimer analysts reiterated a Strong Buy recommendation on Friday, but cut Metalink's target price from $71 to $44. The stock closed at $15.8 on Nasdaq on Friday.
Formula Systems (Nasdaq:FORTY) is flip-flopping. Now the share is down 0.6% after opening with a 1% gain. This morning TASE-traded Delek Drilling announced that it has commenced placement talks with Formula chairman Danny Goldstein.
In other Formula news, its subsidiary Mashov Computers is climbing 9.3% after announcing that it will be handing out, as dividends to its shareholders, its shares in Magic Software (Nasdaq:MGIC) and Makor Haformika. Magic and Makor are trading unchanged.