* Sony shares rally on PlayStation sales, pressure Microsoft
* Dow up 0.3 pct, S&P 500 flat, Nasdaq off 0.1 pct
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The Dow and the S&P 500 stalledafter hitting record highs on Monday as investors kept theirfocus on economic stimulus prospects from the Federal Reserve.
The S&P 500 briefly broke above 1,800 for the first time inhistory, while the Dow managed to climb above 16,000, which wasa first for the blue-chip average.
The Nasdaq Composite approached 4,000, a level it hasn'tseen since September 2000. The round numbers on major levelscould provide some technical resistance at first, but clearingthem could prompt more buying from investors and managers eagerto chase performance.
"Whether it was 16,000 on the Dow or the 1,800 on the S&P,the momentum guys are just trying to push it to that level tosee what kind of resistance they really hit," said Ken Polcari,director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in NewYork.
"Today you've got some more Fed speakers, which will justgive people a reason to analyze, so there will be chatter andspeculation about that."
William Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank ofNew York, said on Monday that he was becoming "more hopeful"about the U.S. economy. He was the first of three Fed bankpresidents scheduled to speak on Monday, with Philadelphia'sCharles Plosser on the economic outlook at 1:30 p.m. (1830 GMT)and Minneapolis' Narayana Kocherlakota on "Too Big to Fail: theNeed for Metrics" at 7:45 p.m. (0045 GMT Tuesday).
With intervention from the Fed likely to keep interest ratesnear zero for the foreseeable future, equities are expected tocontinue to attract yield-seeking investors even after the Fedbegins to scale back its monthly asset purchases.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42.36 points or0.27 percent, to 16,004.06. The S&P 500 was unchanged at1,798.18. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.739 points or0.09 percent, to 3,982.229.
The S&P 500 earlier hit 1,802.33 and the Dow touched16,030.28, their highest levels ever. On Friday, both closed atrecord highs in their sixth straight week of gains.
Boeing was among the Dow's top gainers after Gulfairlines, led by Dubai's Emirates and Abu Dhabi's Etihad, strucknew plane deals on the first day of the Dubai Airshow on Sunday.Boeing shares added 2.1 percent to $138.97 after earlier hittinga 52-week high of $142.
Sony Corp said on Sunday it had sold 1million units of its new PlayStation 4 gaming console in thefirst 24 hours it was available in the United States and Canada.Sony's U.S.-traded shares rose 2.1 percent to $18.88 whileMicrosoft, maker of rival console Xbox, fell 1.2percent to $37.40 as the Dow's worst perfomer and the biggestdrag on the S&P 500. The new Xbox One console goes on sale onFriday.
Tyson Foods shares gained 2 percent to $29.34 afterthe largest U.S. meat processor reported a muchbetter-than-expected quarterly operating profit. Tyson (Taiwan OTC: 4134.TWO - news) also saidit expected meat production to rise in the current fiscal year.
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