Before the open: markets remain lackluster as Fed indecision continues

With the Fed's message on tapering somewhat muddled, US markets remain dulled for a fourth day, following last week's highs.

This, along with the impending debt ceiling debate and potential for government shutdown over Obamacare, is also slowing down European markets, which are expected to open lower this morning.

Improved German IFO numbers made for a more positive European session yesterday, despite the fact they came in slightly lower than expected.

This morning, consumer morale in Germany rose, with consumer confidence at its highest in six years, coming in at 7.1 for October - above the 7.0 expectation and September figure of 7.0.

Key events:

French business climate Sept at 7.45. Expected at 99, up from 98
Italy consumer confidence Sept at 9.00. Expected at 98.5, up from 98.3
UK distributive trades survey - realised Sept at 11.00.
US mortgage applications Sept at 12.00.
US durable goods orders Aug at 13.30. Expected up 0.2 per cent, up from -7.3 per cent. Ex. transportation also expected up - 1.0 per cent from -0.6 per cent
US new home sales Aug at 15.00. Expected at 0.420m, up from 0.394m