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US stocks retreat on weak economic data


US stocks dropped Wednesday after weak economic indicators halted the market's upward momentum of recent weeks.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 111.66 (0.76 percent) to 14,550.35.

The broad-based S&P 500 drooped 16.56 (1.05 percent) to 1,553.69, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 36.26 (1.11 percent) at 3,218.60.

The losses came one day after both the Dow and the S&P 500 recorded new all-time closing records.

Alan Skrainka of Cornerstone Wealth Management said the disappointing economic reports -- on private-sector jobs growth and service sector activity -- provided an occasion for the market to pause after reaching recent peaks.

"The market is looking for any signs to pull back from such a strong rally over the past several weeks," Skrainka said. "I don't think that one day makes a trend. It is certainly natural to see a pullback of this magnitude."