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Wall Street slips off record highs, Tesla drops after fatal crash

U.S. stocks closed lower on Monday (April 19), slipping from last week’s record levels, as investors awaited guidance from first-quarter earnings to justify high valuations, while Tesla Inc 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 (April 17) north of Houston, killing two occupants.

The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index. An 8.4% drop over the weekend in bitcoin, in which Tesla has an investment, also weighed on its share price.

The S&P 500 was mostly lower, with Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc and Nvidia Corp 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.

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 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, another blue-chip company, slipped ahead of its results due after the market close.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.36% to end at 34,077.63 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.53% to 4,163.26. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.98% to 13,914.77.

(Production: Conway Gittens, Hyeongmi Kim, Roselle Chen)

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