* Fourth-quarter GDP growth revised downward
* Indexes: Dow off 0.1 pct, S&P up 0.1 pct, Nasdaq off 0.1 pct (Updates to midday)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were little changed in early afternoon trading on Friday as mixed economic data was offset by some upbeat corporate earnings.
Following the release of their results, shares of Monster Beverage jumped 13.4 percent to $140.67, while shares of Ross Stores gained 6.3 percent to $105.33.
Economic data provided investors with little incentive to push stocks higher. One report showed U.S. growth slowed more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter, while a gauge of business activity in the U.S. Midwest dropped to its lowest reading since July 2009 in February.
However, pending home sales rose to their highest level in 1-1/2 years in January.
After a sluggish start to the year, stocks have rebounded sharply in February and both the Dow and S&P 500 are on track for their best month since October 2011. The Nasdaq is on pace for its best month since January 2012, and remains within striking distance of the 5,000 level, after a string of recent gains.
“Earnings season is winding down and the market is absorbing reports from retailers, which are generally pretty good and the economy is in good shape right,so investors are hoping for a better world economy,” said Giri Cherukuri, head trader at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
At 12:45 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average fell 20 points, or 0.11 percent, to 18,194.42, the S&P 500 gained 1.08 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,111.82 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.32 points, or 0.13 percent, to 4,981.57.
So far, Thomson Reuters data shows S&P 500 earnings increased 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter, which is more than many on Wall Street had expected.
Bank of America shares lost 1.3 percent to $15.83 after the company said two members of its board of directors and its chief accounting officer will be leaving the company in coming weeks. UBS also cut its rating on the stock to “neutral” from a “buy” rating.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,710 to 1,249, for a 1.37-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,414 issues fell and 1,224 advanced for a 1.16-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 26 new 52-week highs and one new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 84 new highs and 17 new lows. (Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczek; Editing by Bernadette Baum)