Stocks fell on Wednesday but were off session lows following data that showed an index of manufacturing activity rose more than expected in March, and sales of existing homes rose in February.

General Motors could be headed for bankruptcy.

The U.S. private sector shed 742,000 jobs in March.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 45.88 points, or 0.60 percent, to 7,563.04. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 5.90 points, or 0.74 percent, to 791.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 18.52 points, or 1.21 percent, to 1,510.07.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by James Dalgleish)