Stocks fell at the open on Tuesday following sharp gains in the prior session as investors awaited the results of a key vote by Slovakia on expanding the euro zone rescue fund.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 61.04 points, or 0.53 percent, to 11,372.14. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 7.36 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,187.53. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> took off 13.36 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,552.69.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)