Stocks fell at the open on Wednesday after key retail sales data came in worse than expected, dampening hopes that the economic recovery was near.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 131.42 points, or 1.55 percent, to 8,337.69. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 13.14 points, or 1.45 percent, to 895.21. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 19.15 points, or 1.12 percent, to 1,696.77.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)