US STOCKS-Wall St flat as investors weigh mixed 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 flat, Nasdaq up 0.2 pct
NEW YORK, Oct 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday as investors looked to earnings to justify the market's recent rise to an all-time high.
The Dow was lower after McDonald's Corp fell following a weak fourth-quarter outlook, while Apple Inc rallied after a positive brokerage report, helping 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," he said.
The S&P 500 on Friday capped its biggest weekly gain in three months on stronger-than-expected earnings from Google and Morgan Stanley, as well as a deal in Washington temporarily resolving a political deadlock on the budget and raising the debt-ceiling. The S&P made a record high.
Apple boosted the S&P 500 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 2.9 percent to $523.79.
McDonald's fell 1 percent to $94.23 after it reported revenue that missed estimates and warned global October sales could be relatively flat. Hasbro Inc jumped 5.8 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 rate slightly above the historical average. But only 52 percent have topped expectations on revenue, below the historical average of 61 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 12.72 points, or 0.08 percent, at 15,386.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 0.22 point, or 0.01 percent, at 1,744.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.43 points, or 0.24 percent, at 3,923.71.
More than 25 percent of the S&P 500 components are due to report this week, with Texas Instruments and Netflix among the stocks to report after Monday's 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 by short sellers hard to execute.
Solar power companies were among the strongest on Monday, with First Solar Inc up 11 percent to $55.38 as the S&P's top percentage gainer. Trina Solar rose 3.4 percent to $17.12 while SolarCity Corp gained 5.8 percent to $62.94.
JPMorgan Chase & Co 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 were flat at $54.27.
"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.