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.
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.