After its stellar ascent during March and April, the TA-25 has fallen back to earth just as rapidly. From its intraday peak of 904 on May 17, the benchmark index has lost around 13 percent of its value and now sits precariously on a support level last tested in February. On a technical basis, the continued sharp decline this past week (over which the TA-25 lost 4%) does little to encourage traders and investors who hope to see a turnaround in the short-term. "The index has broken through all technical downside levels, meaning that it is a 'sell' at present," said Oli Greenspan, a trader at Londonbased Hamilton Court Capital. Although a "dead cat bounce" (where a sharp fall is followed by a temporary rally - on the assumption that "even a dead cat will bounce if dropped from high enough") may occur in the coming sessions because the index is now at a level that has previously provided support, the overall picture looks bleak for Tel Aviv. "Unless the index can push back through 850, one assumes that the year long rally has come to an end," commented Greenspan. Meanwhile, if the market falls through the current support level at 785, the next solid level of support is at 770 - nearly 2% lower than its present position. It appears that in the short-term the only way for the index is down, and that the heady heights of 900 are fading into distant memories. At the the halfway point of 2006, the current outlook stands in stark contrast to the picture at the start of the year. The view in January was rosy with the market having risen steadily in the second half of 2005 to 823 at the end of December from 642 at the start of July. The ascent looked set to continue, but the Hamas election victory in January and a general falter in global markets led the TA-25 to retrace and lose 1.25% during the first quarter . The second quarter performance of the index was even worse, finishing some 3.5% lower than at the start of April as it followed a general downturn in world markets, especially in the emerging markets arena. For the half year just completed, the TA-25 has given back around 4.75%. Technical analysis is the study of trading based on previous performance, focusing exclusively on price movements rather than the fundamentals of the index/currency involved.