Merrill Lynch's admission that it had lost heavily in emerging markets came as a shock in some quarters. The stock has plunged 44 per cent. Downbeat statements from Procter & Gamble contributed to the falls. The Dow was down 265.7 at 7599.3 at midday.
CONCERN ABOUT the future of beleaguered US President Bill Clinton and deepening worries about the impact of emerging market losses on the health of the banking sector sent US stocks reeling. Investment banking stocks led the fallers.