Stocks fell at the open on Wednesday, following three days of losses, as data on private-sector job losses pointed to a weak economic recovery.

A private jobs report showed U.S. firms cut more jobs than expected in August.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> shed 15.72 points, or 0.17 percent, to 9,294.88. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 3.98 points, or 0.40 percent, to 994.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 6.82 points, or 0.35 percent, to 1,962.07.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)