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US STOCKS-Wall Street slips from record levels; Tesla drops after fatal car crash

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Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh
·3-min read
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Tesla falls after fatal crash, bitcoin slump

* GameStop shares jump as CEO exits

* VIX spikes to near two-week high

* Coca-Cola rises as revenue beats estimates

* Indexes down: Dow 0.44%, S&P 0.52%, Nasdaq 1.09% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

By Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh

April 19 (Reuters) - Major U.S. stock indexes fell from record levels on Monday as investors sought cues from first-quarter earnings reports to justify the rich valuation of equities, while Tesla shares fell following a fatal car crash.

The electric-car maker was down 3.5% after a Tesla vehicle, which was believed to be operating without anyone in the driver's seat, crashed into a tree on Saturday night north of Houston, killing two occupants.

The stock, which was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, was also under pressure due to a sharp drop in bitcoin over the weekend.

Coca-Cola Co rose 1% after the beverage maker trounced estimates for quarterly profit and revenue, benefiting from the easing of pandemic curbs and wide vaccine rollouts.

IBM Corp, another blue-chip company, slipped about 0.2% ahead of its results after 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."

A recent pullback in the benchmark 10-year bond yield from 14-month highs has renewed interest in richly valued technology stocks, while a string of strong economic data has also helped push the S&P 500 and the Dow to record levels.

The S&P 500 has risen for the past four weeks, its longest winning streak since August 2020.

About 79 S&P 500 companies are due to report earnings this week, including Johnson & Johnson, Netflix Inc, Intel Corp, Honeywell and Schlumberger, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Analysts now expect first-quarter earnings for S&P 500 firms to rise 25% from last year.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors dropped, while the defensive consumer staples and real estate were in positive territory.

At 11:37 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 149.99 points, or 0.44% , to 34,051.05, the S&P 500 lost 21.88 points, or 0.52 %, to 4,163.59 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 153.28 points, or 1.09 %, to 13,899.06.

GameStop Corp jumped 6.7% on the announcement of its CEO's resignation.

Crypto stocks including miners Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital slumped about 11% each as bitcoin took a hammering.

Harley-Davidson jumped 12% after the motorcycle maker raised it full-year forecast for sales growth.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 2.2-to-1 ratio on the NYSE by a 3.9-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 56 new 52-week highs and no new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 128 new highs and 87 new lows. (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Bernard Orr)