Stocks opened lower on Wednesday after weaker-than-expected manufacturing data added to evidence the U.S. economy's recovery was slowing.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 46.09 points, or 0.37 percent, to 12,310.12. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> lost 4.38 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,311.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 5.89 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,740.27.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak)