Stocks: Dow reaches all time high; TA-25 climbs

Israeli stocks closed mixed, with a number of the technology stocks dual-listed on Wall Street and in Tel Aviv falling and a couple of prominent telecom shares gaining.

By MARKETWATCH
October 4, 2006 07:57
4 minute read.

 
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MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage SHARES TEL AVIV Israeli stocks closed mixed, with a number of the technology stocks dual-listed on Wall Street and in Tel Aviv falling and a couple of prominent telecom shares gaining. Nice Systems was lower after a competitor, Witness Systems, issued a warning. The TA-25 index was up 0.59% at 841.27, the TA-100 index was 0.46% higher at 849.97, and the Tel-Tech 15 index of major tech stocks shed 0.92% to 352.16. The most-active issue was Bank Hapoalim, trading down 0.39% to NIS 20.42. "We've seen some foreign buying in the telecom companies," Partner and Bezeq, said Saar Golan, institutional salesman at Leader & Co. Investment House. Investors are awaiting a possible offering from the Israeli cellular provider Cellcom, in hopes that it could boost the value of other telecom-related issues. Partner, dually listed on Wall Street and in Tel Aviv, added 3.66% to NIS 44.21 and Bezeq was 1.8% greener at NIS 5.49. The Hebrew press reported that Cellcom is due to go public early in 2007 in the US and may go public in London, as well. The company plans to issue 97.5 million shares plus 2.5 million options for employees, the report said. Another dual-listed issue, Nice Systems, the producer of digital recording and archiving systems, lost 1.4%. Witness Systems fell Tuesday on Wall Street after the software provider said it expected third-quarter revenue of $50 million to $51m. A survey of analysts by Thomson First Call produced a consensus estimate of $53m. In mid-September, an Israeli press report said Nice was in talks to acquire Witness. Elbit Systems also bucked the tech-index trend, rising 1.84% to NIS 132.9 after its price target was lifted to $34 from $31 at Clal Finance Batucha. The firm rates the defense contractor "outperform." Koor, the holding company with interests in telecommunications, agrichemicals and defense, rose 1.14% to NIS 231.4. Discount Investments said it lifted its holding in Koor by 5.4 percentage points to around 46%. Discount Investments rose 1.83% to NIS 105.9. Perrigo shares fell 2.31% to NIS 72.59. The company said after Monday's closing bell that the Food and Drug Administration granted tentative clearance for its ciclopirox topical solution, 8%. The solution treats mild-to-moderate fungal infections of the fingernails and toenails. Taldor Computer Systems finished down 2.22% at NIS 10.15. The company received an $8m. pact to provide a information system and related services to a financial institution. A company statement didn't identify the customer. WALL STREET The Dow Jones Industrial Average punched through to an all-time high Tuesday, leading the way for sharp gains the in the broad market, as a drop in the price of oil to a 10-month low raised hopes that lower energy costs would serve to boost consumer spending. In afternoon trade, the Dow industrials were up 68.91 points, or 0.6%, to 11,739.26 after earlier rallying as much as 84.20 points to a session high of 11,754.50, topping the previous all-time high of 11,750.28 reached on Jan. 14, 2000. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.90 points, or 0.4%, to 2,247.50 and the S&P 500 added 5.23 points, or 0.4%, to 1,336.55. "Oil had been looking as if it were going back up, but now it appears to be falling back significantly and the market has taken off on that," said Jay Suskind, director of trading at Ryan Beck & Co. EUROPE European shares closed lower Tuesday as oil producers dropped on lower crude futures and as a sales warning from Marvell Technology hurt peers Infineon Technologies and STMicroelectronics. In France chipmaker STMicroelectronics and oil producer Total pressured the CAC-40 index, which closed down 0.5% at 5,219. The German DAX Xetra 30 index lost 0.1% to 5,992, the UK's FTSE 100 index lost 0.4% to 5,937 and the pan-European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index lost 0.3% to 340.26. ASIA Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday. The Nikkei 225 Average fell 0.1% to 16,242.1, breaking a four-session winning streak. On Monday, the index closed at its highest level in nearly a month. The broader Topix index fell 0.5% to 1,617.8. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index recovered late in the day to close up 0.4% at 17,606.5. CURRENCY The yen dipped against the dollar and euro after news from North Korea that it would conduct a nuclear test sparked concerns over geo-political tensions in the region. Meanwhile, the dollar recovered from a sharp sell-off in the prior session as traders awaited economic releases and comments from Federal Reserve officials later in the week. In New York trading, the dollar was quoted at 117.92 yen, compared with 117.67 yen late Monday. The euro changed hands at $1.2726, compared with $1.2738. COMMODITIES Crude-oil futures fell briefly under $59 a barrel to their lowest level in 10 months as supply concerns eased on swelling US inventories. November-dated light sweet crude futures were trading down $1.87 at $59.16 a barrel in afternoon action. At one stage, crude fell as low as $58.90, a level not seen on this contract since November 2005. Gold futures fell as much as 3% Tuesday afternoon to touch a nearly two-week low, ready to tally a three-session loss of almost $25 an ounce as the drop in energy prices eased concerns about high energy costs and reduced safe-haven investment demand for the precious metal. Gold for December delivery was down $17.30 at $586.20 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell to a low of $585.60, its weakest level since September 21. MarketWatch: In-depth global business coverage

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