Coca-Cola was among the Dow's biggest fallers after Merrill Lynch cuts its earnings estimates for the company. Technology stocks were also in decline.
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US STOCKS suffered their biggest drop in almost six weeks, amid concerns about falling profits at some of the country's largest blue-chips. By early afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading 157.9 points lower at 9732.61. The Nasdaq Composite fell 47.94 points to stand at 2348.