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(Close): Shares in online auction and retail site eBay jumped 7.5% after the company announced that it would spin off its payment unit PayPal.

PayPal will become a separate company with a separate share listing next year.

Despite the rise in eBay shares, the tech-heavy Nasdaq index fell 12.46 points to 4,493.39.

The Dow Jones index slipped 28.32 points to 17,042.90 while the broader S&P 500 fell 5.51 points to 1,972.29.

Both were dragged down by disappointing economic data, including private research group the Conference Board's index of US consumer confidence, which fell to 86.0 in September from 93.4 in August, after rising for four months.

The fall is largely due to concerns about the state of the US jobs market.

Investors were also concerned about the protests in Hong Kong and their possible impact on Chinese growth.

A closely-watched housing survey indicated that house prices fell in July, and while prices were up over the year, the increase was not as high as expected.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of prices in 20 metropolitan areas fell 0.5% in July on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Compared with a year earlier, prices were up 6.7%, against expectations of a 7.5% rise.

"The broad-based deceleration in home prices continued in the most recent data," David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said.