Stocks opened sharply lower on Tuesday as investors turned cautious ahead of the start of the first-quarter earnings reporting season and worries about the health of the banking sector persisted.

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 126.72 points, or 1.59 percent, at 7,849.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 14.94 points, or 1.79 percent, at 820.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 25.15 points, or 1.57 percent, at 1,581.56.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)