US STOCKS-Wall Street flat near records, focus on earnings
* Hasbro rallies after results, McDonald's edges lower
* Netflix, Texas Instruments to report after the close
* September home resales fall, price appreciation slows
* Dow off 0.1 pct, S&P 500 down 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.1 pct
NEW YORK, Oct 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as investors looked to corporate earnings to justify current levels, with the S&P 500 near a record.
The Dow was kept in negative territory by McDonald's Corp , which sold off following a weak fourth-quarter outlook, while a rally in Apple Inc supported the Nasdaq.
Though only a small percentage of S&P 500 stocks have reported earnings thus far, the season has been mixed, with revenue growth especially a concern. Still, profits have largely risen and many bellwether companies have topped expectations.
"It's too early to tell if results are strong, and so far they're not enough to get excited or nervous about," said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.
Early results have suggested that "revenue growth looks mediocre, but valuations remain attractive, so we remain optimistic about equities."
The S&P 500 on Friday capped its biggest weekly gain in three months on stronger-than-expected earnings from such companies as Google and Morgan Stanley, as well as a deal in Washington that averted a possible government debt default and reopened the federal government after a 16-day shutdown. The S&P made a record high.
Apple boosted the S&P and Nasdaq after Societe Generale lifted its price target on the stock to $575 from $500 and advised clients to buy shares. The stock rose 2.3 percent to $520.82.
McDonald's fell 0.9 percent to $94.35 after it reported revenue that missed estimates and warned global October sales could be relatively flat. Hasbro Inc jumped 6.1 percent to a new all-time high as both earnings and sales topped expectations.
With 21 percent of S&P companies having reported, 61.5 percent have topped profit expectations, a beat rate slightly above the historical average. Only 52 percent have topped on revenue, below the historical average of 61 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 20.20 points, or 0.13 percent, at 15,379.45. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 1.78 points, or 0.10 percent, at 1,742.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.48 points, or 0.11 percent, at 3,918.76.
More than 25 percent of the S&P 500 components are due to report this week, with Texas Instruments and Netflix among the names slated to come out after the market closes.
While Netflix shares have soared this year, few short sellers are expecting the stock to pull back following its results, a sign of how the Federal Reserve's stimulus program has made successful negative bets hard to execute.
JPMorgan Chase & Co shares edged lower after it reached a tentative $13 billion deal with the U.S. government to settle investigations into bad mortgage loans sold to investors by JPMorgan and the banks it bought during the financial crisis. Shares slipped 0.3 percent to $54.13.
"A settlement of this size brings closure for many and it allows them to put the episode behind," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Shares of Tellabs Inc rose 4.9 percent to $2.47 after the network services provider agreed to be taken private by Marlin Equity Partners for $891 million.
The market barely reacted to news that U.S. home resales fell in September and prices rose at their slowest pace in five months, in the latest signs higher mortgage rates were taking some edge off the housing market recovery.
Japan's exports rose but were well short of expectations in September, a sign that slowing demand in Asia was taking the shine off Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's stimulus policies and clouding the outlook for a recovery.