Tel Aviv stocks are rising about 0.8% on Tuesday morning. Stocks are being lifted by the Nasdaq's 4.8% jump on Monday, traders say.

Israeli investors have grown enured to the fighting. Only an escalation or sharp improvement in the situation could move them now, traders estimate.

But they do expect that share prices will be affected by the international rating agency Fitch's announcement that Israel's long- and short-term foreign currency rating is on a Rating Watch Negative. Fitch is the first major rating company to relate to the escalation of political tensions in the region.

May options on the Maof-25 index will be expiring this Thursday. Speculators om the Maof index are likely to snap up underlying assets to push the index higher. Market sources say some of today's gains may be due to speculators.

The Maof-25 index is rising by 0.84% to 432.99 points and the TA-100 index is up 0.7% to 421.49 points. Technology shares are up 1%.

Formula Systems (Nasdaq:FORTY) is gaining 1% despite posting a loss of $13.7 million for the first quarter of 2001, in keeping with Bank Hapoalim's prediction (which left an enormous margin for error. The bank's analyst predicted loss of $10 million to $16 million.) Formula began on a positive arbitrage gap of 1.6%.

Koor Industries (NYSE:KOR) is skipping 2.5%. Today, ECI (Nasdaq:ECIL) is to release its results for the first quarter. Koor owns 33.4% of ECI.

Nice Systems (Nasdaq:NICE) is up 2% after starting on a positive arbitrage gap of 2%.

Magic Software Enterprises (Nasdaq:MGIC) is up 1% and Retalix (Nasdaq:RTLX) is down 2%.

Tower Semiconductor (Nassdaq:TSEM) is unchanged. Today the company announced that a group of investors committed investing $305 million in Fab2 has handed over a $45 million instalment.

First International Bank of Israel is rising 1.5%. Today


reported that the bank is negotiating to merge the First International Mortgage Bank with Atzmaut Mortgage & Development Bank. Atzmaut Bank is controlled by FIBI.

Bank Leumi is climbing 0.8% on NIS 4.5 million volume of trade, the session's leading volume so far. Trade in Leumi is hopping on reports that its workers will receive warrants in order to withdraw their objections to the bank's privatization.

Tefen is unchanged and Baran is up 2.2%. Baran owns 31% of Tefen, which today announced NIS 3 million profit for the first quarter this year, 3% down from the parallel quarter of last year. But revenues increased by 18% compared with the first quarter of 2000.