Wall Street opened weaker on Tuesday as renewed worries about the global banking sector offset the optimism surrounding the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th US president.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 47.47 points (0.57 per cent) to 8,233.75 in the first exchanges, as trading opened for the week after the Martin Luther King Day holiday.
The Nasdaq shed 11.93 points (0.78 per cent) to 1,517.40 and the Standard & Poor's 500 broad-market index lost 7.65 points (0.90 per cent) to 842.47.
Analysts said market tensions rose amid news of a new bailout for British-based Royal Bank of Scotland, triggering fears of a nationalization of the banking system in the country and a worsening global credit crunch.
"The current leaning indicates that Mr. Obama's honeymoon period will be a short one -- it may already be over," said Patrick O'Hare at Briefing.com.