* Second-qtr GDP rises 2.3 pct vs 2.6 pct est
* Facebook falls after results
* P&G slips after 6th straight sales decline
* Skechers, Mondelez jump after profits beat expectations
* Dow up 0.02 pct, S&P unchanged, Nasdaq up 0.38 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Tanya Agrawal
July 30 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 almost recovered the day’s losses while the Dow and Nasdaq were higher in afternoon trading on Thursday as investors digested earnings and GDP data showed that the economy grew in the second quarter.
Procter & Gamble fell 3.7 percent after the company reported its sixth straight quarter of lower sales while Facebook shares fell 2.6 percent after the social media company’s profit decreased.
Mondelez International rose 4.9 percent to $45.22 after reporting results that beat expectations.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, while first-quarter numbers were revised to show that the economy, previously reported to have shrunk, grew at 0.6 percent.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said the economy was improving and left doors open for a possible rate hike in September.
The Fed has maintained near-zero interest rates for nearly a decade, saying it will raise rates only when it sees a sustained recovery in the economy.
“Earnings haven’t been great and there is much more slack in the economy than the market or the Fed thought while big concerns such as oil and China continue to persist,” said John Canally, investment strategist at LPL Financial.
“We are in a slow-growth environment and anything that knocks that down further is not a plus for the market.”
The U.S. dollar continued to strengthen and was up 0.75 percent near a weekly high of $97.70 against a basket of currencies as the Fed readies to raise rates this year.
U.S. stocks closed stronger on Wednesday after the Fed statement. The S&P 500 has bounced about 2 percent higher in the past two days following a near-3 percent drop over the preceding week that had been caused in part by a rout in China’s stock markets.
At 13:15 p.m. ET (1715 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 3.37 points, or 0.02 percent, at 17,754.76, the S&P 500 was down 0.09 points, or -0 percent, at 2,108.48 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 19.57 points, or 0.38 percent, at 5,131.31.
Five of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower with the energy index’s 0.6 percent fall leading the decliners.
More than halfway through the second-quarter earnings season, analysts expect overall earnings of S&P 500 companies to edge up 0.8 percent and revenue to decline 3.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
While earnings are expected to increase this quarter, valuations remain a concern. The S&P 500 is trading near 16.9 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data.
Companies scheduled to report during the day include Expedia, LinkedIn and Western Union after the close.
Whole Foods Market slumped 12 percent to $35.89 after same-store sales growth cooled.
Skechers USA jumped 15.1 percent to $147.89 as the sports shoe maker and retailer reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,495 to 1,446. On the Nasdaq, 1,393 issues rose and 1,300 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 24 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 62 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal)