Stocks opened lower on Friday as investors booked profits a day after a powerful rally that propelled the S&P to close above its 200-day moving average for the first time since August.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 22.63 points, or 0.19 percent, at 12,185.92. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped 5.43 points, or 0.42 percent, at 1,279.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index took off 11.91 points, or 0.43 percent, at 2,726.72.

On Thursday, the market soared 3 percent after a long-awaited agreement was struck to help contain Europe's two-year debt crisis. The S&P 500 is up more than 13 percent this month, on pace for its biggest monthly gain since October 1974.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica)