Wall Street slips off record highs, Tesla drops after fatal crash
* Tesla falls after fatal crash, bitcoin slumps
* GameStop shares jump as CEO exits
* Coca-Cola rises as revenue beats estimates (Updates to close)
By Herbert Lash
NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed lower on Monday, slipping from last week's record levels, as investors awaited guidance from first-quarter earnings to justify high valuations, while Tesla Inc TSLA.O shares fell after a fatal car crash.
The electric-car maker fell after a Tesla vehicle believed to be operating without anyone in the driver's seat crashed into a tree on Saturday north of Houston, killing two occupants.
The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 .SPX and Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC . An 8.4% drop over the weekend in bitcoin BTC=BTSP , in which Tesla has an investment, also weighed on its share price.
The S&P 500 was mostly lower, with Microsoft Corp MFST.O , Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O and Nvidia Corp NVDA.O also weighing on the benchmark index as analysts await results this week and next that form the bulk of earnings season.
Corporate outlooks should indicate to what degree the rally from last year's lows can continue. Analysts expect first-quarter earnings to have grown 30.9% from a year ago, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
The U.S. economy is poised to boom as consumers hold $2 trillion in savings in excess of what they held before the pandemic, said Doug Peta, chief U.S. investment strategist at BCA Research, adding markets are in pause mode.
"If indeed we do keep grinding higher that would be healthy, that would suggest that the grinding higher is sustainable," Peta said. "The pullbacks along the way are healthy."
Nvidia fell after the UK government said it would look into the national security implications of Nvidia's purchase of British chip designer ARM Holdings, raising a question mark over the $40 billion deal.
Coca-Cola Co KO.N rose after the beverage maker trounced estimates for quarterly profit and revenue, benefiting from the easing of pandemic curbs and wide vaccine rollouts.
International Business Machines Corp IBM.N , another blue-chip company, slipped ahead of its results due after the market close.
"The market has had a huge jump to the upside so it needs to take a little bit of rest," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
"For now it's just a little bit of profit taking as traders await results from big tech names on Wall Street."
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 0.35% to end at 34,082.44 points, while the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.52% to 4,163.64.
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.98% to 13,914.77.
A recent retreat in benchmark 10-year Treasury yields US10YT=RR from 14-month highs has helped high-flying technology stocks to rebound, while strong economic data has lifted the S&P 500 and the Dow to record levels.
The S&P 500 has gained the past four weeks, its longest winning streak since August 2020.
GameStop Corp GME.N jumped on the announcement of its chief executive's resignation.
Crypto stocks including miners Riot Blockchain RIOT.O and Marathon Digital MARA.O each slumped as bitcoin took a hammering.
Harley-Davidson Inc HOG.N jumped after the motorcycle maker raised it full-year forecast for sales growth.
Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Bernard Orr and Richard Chang
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