Wall Street drifts lower

Profit taking sees US stocks stagnate just below record highs.

United States stocks closed broadly lower just a day after the S&P 500 inched into a record closing high.

The lacklustre trading moves were seen as a sign of profit taking in the wake of a strong run-up in stock prices over recent months. Investors are also wary about a reduction in US stimulus, which could be seen as early as next week.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 52.4 points, or 0.33%, to 15,973.13 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 5.75 points, or 0.32%, to 1,802.62 points and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite slipped 8.26 points, or 0.20%, to 4,060.49 points.

The slight pullback came after Wall Street scored modest gains on Monday despite Federal Reserve official James Bullard suggesting the central bank could take a small step next week to reel in its stimulus program.

There was little in the way of economic data overnight, though an economic growth revision saw Italy end a two-year recession, albeit thanks to a flat quarter.

Meanwhile, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi spoke, making the case that weak inflation in Europe wouldn't lead to a Japan-style deflationary period.

Elsewhere, US regulators backed the Volcker rule, which will tighten banking regulations in the country.

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