Stocks finish flat

Equities traded within a tight range today, as mixed news left traders undecided about what position to take.

Eurozone shares drifted between positive and negative territory, as news that political stability in Portugal had reduced Lisbon’s borrowing cost was offset by the announcement that the eurozone’s overall level of debt has increased. The latest figures from Brussels revealed that the percentage of debt to gross domestic product (GDP) now stands at 90.6%, up from 89.9% last year. This spooked investors, as the eurozone debt crisis is showing no signs of coming to an end. In order for countries to reduce their debt they will have to introduce tougher austerity measures, which could damage their economies.

Essar Energy was upgraded by Citi Group today. The US investment bank issued a buy rating, as it feels that deregulation in the Indian energy market will benefit the company, and the share price is up 4.5%.

In the US, the Dow is up 20 points at 15,563 as the reporting season is met with mixed reactions. Fast food giant McDonald's announced second-quarter revenue of $7.08 billion, which was in line with expectations, but warned about a ‘tough year’ ahead. The stock is now down 2.8%.

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