U.S. stocks opened lower on Thursday after weaker-than-expected retail sales and the European Central Bank left monetary policy unchanged, disappointing investors who hoped the ECB would prevent a debt crisis from engulfing the euro zone.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 28.04 points, or 0.26 percent, to 10,840.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 3.43 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,162.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 11.94 points, or 0.50 percent, to 2,390.35.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)