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Updated from 8:06 a.m. EDT

Merrill Lynch & Co.

( MER), the nation's largest securities firm, may cut up to 2,000 jobs from its brokerage division,

The Wall Street Journal

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reported Friday, citing people close to the firm.

Under the plan, the firm is considering cutting 5.4% of the brokerage unit's workforce of 37,000 or close to 3% of the firm's entire workforce of 68,600, according to the article.

The report said brokers' jobs are not in danger. Those under the chopping block are executives in marketing, strategy and technology. Overall, the cuts could save as much as $150 million a year.

Merrill Lynch finished Friday regular trading down 3/4, or 0.6%, at 123 1/4.