U.S. stocks fell on Friday, dropping more than 1 percent across the board following the release of weak consumer sentiment data.

Boeing Co was the top drag on the Dow after it said an Italian supplier stopped production in June on two sections of its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner plane..

Shares of Boeing shed 4.5 percent to $44.52.

According to the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, consumer confidence fell more than expected in August, dropping to its lowest level since March.

One reason the consumer confidence data could have dropped is the report might have focused more on employment and wages, which have been factors holding back the consumer in the current environment, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut.

As consumers fuel about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, the erosion in sentiment highlights the fear that the economic recovery could be weak.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 135.66 points, or 1.44 percent, to 9,263.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 14.98 points, or 1.48 percent, to 997.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 35.47 points, or 1.77 percent, to 1,973.41.

The sentiment data feeds into yesterday's retail sales number, which was disappointing. That then feeds into the unemployment number, and consumer confidence isn't going to improve until unemployment starts to go lower, said Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager and Stifel Nicolaus in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Retail stocks fell on the poor sentiment data and a weak outlook from department store JC Penney Inc .

The S&P Retail index <.RLX> fell 2 percent while Penney slid 6 percent to $31.34 after it signaled that its full-year results could fall short of expectations.

A positive spot in the retail sector was Abercrombie & Fitch , which advanced 4.4 percent to $34.42 after it reported second-quarter results and said its international growth plans remained on track.

Among other economic indicators on Friday, U.S. industrial output gained for the first time in nine months in July, rising more than expected and U.S. consumer prices suggested that inflation would remain mild.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Kenneth Barry)