Stocks open lower as European worries persist

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening slightly lower as worries over the European debt crisis persist, overshadowing a strong auction of Italian government debt.

The European Central Bank said the continent’s banks parked a record $590.72 billion overnight at the bank, reflecting distrust in the European banking system.

Italy held two successful bond auctions Wednesday at a substantially lower cost than what it paid in similar auctions last month. The sales raised hopes that the country would be able to roll over its enormous national debt with new bonds.

The Dow Jones industrial average is down 20 points at 12,272 in early trading. The S&P 500 is down 3 at 1,262. The Nasdaq is down 6 at 2,619.