- Profit taking sent U.S. stocks falling on Wednesday as investors took a breather and jumped to the sidelines after four days of solid gains fueled by positive economic data.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 fell 0.25%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.11%, while the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.28%.

The Volatility S&P 500 index, which measures market volatility, was up 1.48% at 11.68.

Several sessions of healthy U.S. economic indicators sent share prices ripe for profit taking on Wednesday, especially after investors locked in gains from Tuesday''s batch of cheery numbers and jumped to the sidelines.

The Conference Board reported that its consumer confidence index rose to 83.0 this month from 81.7 in April, in line with market expectations.

Elsewhere, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller house price index rose 12.4% in March from a year earlier, beating forecasts for a gain of 11.8%.

Also on Tuesday ,the Commerce Department reported that U.S. durable goods orders rose 0.8% in April, confounding expectations for a 0.5% fall.

Core durable goods orders, which are stripped of volatile transportation items, rose 0.1% last month, missing expectations for a 0.3% increase, though still markets still applauded the increase.

Falling Treasury yields, a sign investors are growing more cautious, fueled Wednesday''s selloff as well, though losses are limited as yields are not falling at a time when corporate earnings are deteriorating.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), up 0.62%, J P Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), up 0.55%, and Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO), up 0.47%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average''s worst performers included McDonald''s Corporation (NYSE:MCD), down 1.03%, International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), down 0.87%, and Caterpillar Inc (NYSE:CAT), down 0.76%.

European indices, meanwhile, ended the day mixed.

After the close of European trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.08%, France''s CAC 40 rose 0.04%, while Germany''s DAX fell 0.02%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 rose 0.09%.

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