U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday after data showed weaker retail sales last month, raising a question mark about a recovery in consumer spending.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 35.04 points, or 0.29 percent, at 12,233.15. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 3.39 points, or 0.25 percent, at 1,328.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 6.97 points, or 0.25 percent, at 2,810.21.

Sales at U.S. retailers in January were pressured by anemic receipts at building materials and restaurant outlets, likely reflecting the effects from snowstorms that had slammed large parts of the country.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica)