Stocks opened lower on Monday as Italy and Greece rushed to form technocrat-led governments in a bid to stave of the euro zone's debt crisis, and as data showed the region is facing a looming recession.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 22.78 points, or 0.19 percent, to 12,130.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 5.70 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,258.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 8.40 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,670.35.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)