NEW YORK - Stocks fell to three-month lows on Wednesday as investors confronted fresh signs that the recession is deepening after data showed the U.S. housing market deteriorated further last month.

News of the Obama administration's plan to stem foreclosures was met with skepticism, sending the Dow Jones home construction index <.DJUSHB> down nearly 6 percent.

Investors worried the plan would be no quick fix and there was uncertainty about how it would work. Shares of luxury home builder Toll Brothers fell 6.5 percent to $16.74 while D.R. Horton declined 2.5 percent to $8.70.

You could make a good argument that the home plan is having the opposite effect of what they wanted, said Warren Simpson, managing director at Stephens Capital Management in Little Rock, Arkansas. Our opinion on housing is that you can't stop it from going down, it's going to take care of itself.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> shed 29.62 points, or 0.39 percent, to 7,522.98. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 4.34 points, or 0.55 percent, to 784.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 6.84 points, or 0.47 percent, to 1,463.82.

Shares of Deere & Co dropped 3 percent after the farm equipment maker posted a quarterly profit that missed forecasts and slashed its outlook. Shares of other big manufacturers also slid, with Caterpillar Inc a top drag on the Dow, off 3.5 percent to $27.98.

(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by James Dalgleish)