Stocks opened higher on Tuesday, a day after the S&P 500 hit its lowest level in over two months, but analysts said a recent downtrend was likely to remain in place.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 48.21 points, or 0.40 percent, at 12,138.17. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 5.57 points, or 0.43 percent, at 1,291.74. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> put on 10.87 points, or 0.40 percent, at 2,713.43.

The S&P 500 has undergone a string of losses, falling more than 5 percent since a recent high at the start of May. On Monday it closed at its lowest level since March 18 and some investors look for further volatility and a possible move lower before equities stabilize.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica)