U.S. stocks dropped after Coca-Cola and Xilinx said sales or earnings will miss estimates, in keeping with a trend of lower third-quarter forecasts. The Dow Jones industrial average had its biggest decline in a month.

"Built into the market is a very optimistic profit scenario," said Doug Cliggott, strategist for Brummer & Partners, which manages $3.5 billion in New York. "Our guess is we will come in well below that."

The Dow average shed 86.80, or 0.8 percent, to 10,231.36, the steepest drop since Aug. 12. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 7.96, or 0.7 percent, to 1120.37. The decline, the largest this month, ended a four-day advance.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 18.88, or 1 percent, to 1896.52. The retreat reflected the forecast from Xilinx, the world's biggest producer of programmable semiconductors, as well as Goldman, Sachs & Co. analysts' downgrades of the computer and software industries.

Coca-Cola, the world's largest soft-drink maker, fell $1.71, to $41.16. Second-half earnings will be 77 cents to 82 cents a share, the company said, well below analysts' estimates.

Xilinx slumped $1.54, to $27.50. The company said second-quarter sales will miss its forecast because customers have too much inventory. Celestica, the world's fourth-biggest maker of electronics for other companies, fell $1.97, to $12.60. The company said third-quarter profit and sales will miss its forecasts. Sanmina-SCI, the world's No. 3 maker of electronics for other companies, slumped 51 cents, to $7.07. Its 6.7 percent decline was the third-largest in the S&P 500.

Oracle, the world's third-largest software maker, gained 78 cents, to $11.33. Its 7.4 percent gain was the biggest in the S&P 500. The company said fiscal first-quarter profit rose to 10 cents a share, topping analysts' estimates.

Best Buy climbed $2.32, or 4.6 percent, to $52.61, for the second-largest gain in the S&P 500.

Other Indicators

* The New York Stock Exchange composite index fell 47.89, to 6546.32; the American Stock Exchange index fell 9.30, to 1239.24; and the Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 2.44, to 568.52.

* Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones by 3 to 2 on the NYSE, where trading volume rose to 1.25 billion shares, from 1.2 billion on Tuesday. On the Nasdaq Stock Market, decliners outnumbered advancers by 8 to 5 and volume totaled 1.56 billion, up from 1.48 billion.

* The price of the Treasury's 10-year note fell $2.81 per $1,000 invested, and its yield rose to 4.16 percent, from 4.13 percent on Tuesday.

* The dollar rose against the Japanese yen and the euro. In late New York trading, a dollar bought 110.02 yen, up from 109.57 late Tuesday, and a euro bought $1.2154, down from $1.2258.

* Light, sweet crude oil for October delivery settled at $43.58, down 81 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

* Gold for current delivery fell to $405.00 a troy ounce, from $405.70 on Tuesday, on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Commodity Exchange.