* 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 stalled after hitting record highs on Monday as investors kept their focus on economic stimulus prospects from the Federal Reserve.
The S&P 500 briefly broke above 1,800 for the first time in history, while the Dow managed to climb above 16,000, which was a first for the blue-chip average.
The Nasdaq Composite approached 4,000, a level it hasn't seen since September 2000. The round numbers on major levels could provide some technical resistance at first, but clearing them could prompt more buying from investors and managers eager to 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 to see what kind of resistance they really hit," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
"Today you've got some more Fed speakers, which will just give people a reason to analyze, so there will be chatter and speculation about that."
William Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said on Monday that he was becoming "more hopeful" about the U.S. economy. He was the first of three Fed bank presidents scheduled to speak on Monday, with Philadelphia's Charles Plosser on the economic outlook at 1:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) and Minneapolis' Narayana Kocherlakota on "Too Big to Fail: the Need for Metrics" at 7:45 p.m. (0045 GMT Tuesday).
With intervention from the Fed likely to keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future, equities are expected to continue to attract yield-seeking investors even after the Fed begins to scale back its monthly asset purchases.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42.36 points or 0.27 percent, to 16,004.06. The S&P 500 was unchanged at 1,798.18. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.739 points or 0.09 percent, to 3,982.229.
The S&P 500 earlier hit 1,802.33 and the Dow touched 16,030.28, their highest levels ever. On Friday, both closed at record highs in their sixth straight week of gains.
Boeing was among the Dow's top gainers after Gulf airlines, led by Dubai's Emirates and Abu Dhabi's Etihad, struck new plane deals on the first day of the Dubai Airshow on Sunday. Boeing shares added 2.1 percent to $138.97 after earlier hitting a 52-week high of $142.
Sony Corp said on Sunday it had sold 1 million units of its new PlayStation 4 gaming console in the first 24 hours it was available in the United States and Canada. Sony's U.S.-traded shares rose 2.1 percent to $18.88 while Microsoft, maker of rival console Xbox, fell 1.2 percent to $37.40 as the Dow's worst perfomer and the biggest drag on the S&P 500. The new Xbox One console goes on sale on Friday.
Tyson Foods shares gained 2 percent to $29.34 after the largest U.S. meat processor reported a much better-than-expected quarterly operating profit. Tyson (Taiwan OTC: 4134.TWO - news) also said it expected meat production to rise in the current fiscal year.