US stocks fell yesterday as a surprise drop in a gauge of consumer confidence overshadowed signs of stabilisation in housing and solid earnings from Walgreen.<br /><br />Stocks started higher but then turned lower as the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index for September fell.<br /><br />Even so, investors were reluctant to sell stocks indiscriminately. Major indexes spent most of the session shuttling between small losses and break-even. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 47.16 points, or 0.48 per cent, to 9,742.20. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index shed 2.37 points, or 0.22 per cent, to 1,060.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 6.70 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 2,124.04.<br /><br />Top drags included manufacturer <strong>3M</strong>, off 1.4 per cent to $73.94 and network equipment maker <strong>Cisco</strong> <strong>Systems</strong>, down 1.3 per cent at $23.30. <strong>Apple</strong> declined 0.4 per cent to $185.38.<br /><br />But shares of <strong>Walgreen</strong> jumped 9.2 per cent to $37.35 after the largest US drugstore chain reported a quarterly profit that topped expectations. <br /><br />The S&P 500, up 15.4 per cent so far this quarter, is making a run for its best quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 1998. The benchmark index has rallied nearly 60 per cent from the 12-year low of early March.