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November 14 2012, 01:53AM

US stocks have sunk in opening trade amid worries about Greece's debt crisis and a US "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax hikes at year-end expected to drag the economy into recession.

In the first five minutes of Tuesday trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 49.53 points (0.39 per cent) at 12,765.55.

The broad-market S&P 500 dropped 7.75 points (0.56 per cent) to 1,372.28, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite skidded 24.82 (0.85 per cent) to 2,879.43.

"The fiscal cliff concern hasn't gone away... (and) the concerns about Greece are still present," Patrick O'Hare at said in a client note.

"The only clear thing right now is that there is a lot of uncertainty and that there isn't a headline today so far that is the equivalent of a game-changer."

On Monday US stocks closed flat as investors weighed fiscal cliff fears and eurozone debt concerns.