NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on Tuesday, with Microsoft and Caterpillar shares tumbling after both posted earnings, while an unexpected decline in durable goods orders also weighed on sentiment.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 222.56 points, or 1.26 percent, to 17,456.14, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 19.29 points, or 0.94 percent, to 2,037.8 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 73.43 points, or 1.54 percent, to 4,698.33 points.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Nick Zieminski)