US stocks fall on weak economic data

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks on Wednesday fell for a second day in a row after disappointing US data stoked concerns about economic growth.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 17,698.92, down 77.20 points (0.43 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 8.09 (0.39 per cent) to 2,059.80, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 20.66 (0.42 per cent) to 4,880.23.

Data showed US construction spending dipped in February, while growth in the manufacturing sector slowed for the fifth straight month in March.

US businesses increased nonfarm payrolls by just 189,000 jobs in March, payrolls firm ADP said Wednesday.

March was the first time since January 2014 that fewer than 200,000 jobs were added.

"The data the last couple of weeks has been relatively underwhelming and the concern is the US economy isn't growing as fast as people were expecting," said Michael James, managing director of Wedbush Securities.