Stocks fell sharply at the open on Friday after sources told Reuters that European Central Bank Executive Board Member Juergen Stark would step down from his post because of a conflict over the central bank's bond buying program.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 169.53 points, or 1.50 percent, at 11,126.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 16.27 points, or 1.37 percent, at 1,169.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 28.02 points, or 1.11 percent, at 2,501.12.

(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)