* Jobless claims rise for third straight week
* Pepsi, P&G, 3M blame strong dollar for missing estimates
* GM down after revenue falls short of forecast
* Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq all down less than 0.1 pct (Updates to late morning and changes comment)
By Tanya Agrawal
April 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks were little changed in late morning trading on Thursday as soft U.S., European and Chinese data, alongside disappointing earnings forecasts, were offset by gains in energy stocks as oil futures rose.
A slight but unexpected rise in U.S. applications for unemployment insurance also pressured indexes lower, while growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector dipped more than expected in April.
Business activity slowed more than expected in the euro zone this month while manufacturing in Asia’s top two economies hit the brakes, suggesting the global recovery path is less clear than policymakers are predicting.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 295,000 for the week ended April 18, above the forecast of 290,000.
The data and earnings-related weakness was offset by a 0.8 percent advance in the S&P 500 energy sector.
Both Brent and U.S. crude futures rose more than 3 percent on heightened concerns over the security of Middle East supplies as a civil war escalated in Yemen.
“The energy markets flattened out over the last month and it actually appears that you will probably see stronger energy prices,” said Scott Colyer, CEO of Advisors Asset Management in Monument, Colorado.
At 11:30 a.m. EDT (1530 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 7.77 points, or 0.04 percent, at 18,030.5, the S&P 500 was down 0.23 points, or 0.01 percent, at 2,107.73 and the Nasdaq Composite was lower 1.32 points, or 0.03 percent, at 5,033.85.
PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and 3M all blamed the strong dollar for missing estimates or cutting forecasts. P&G fell 2 percent to $81.43, 3M fell 3.3 percent to $159.11 and Pepsi was down 1.7 percent at $95.55.
Facebook fell 0.6 percent to $84.07 on Thursday, a day after posting quarterly revenue that missed analysts estimates.
General Motors shares dropped 3.9 percent to $35.70 after the automaker’s revenue also fell short.
PulteGroup shares slid 7.8 percent to $20.00 after the homebuilder reported a surprise fall in quarterly profit.
Texas Instruments slumped 7.6 percent to $54.24 a day after it forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ expectations, citing weak demand and a strong dollar. Shares of other chipmakers also fell.
Earnings expected after the bell include Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,709 to 1,186, for a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,316 issues fell and 1,265 advanced for a 1.04-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 18 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 59 new highs and 26 new lows. (Additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)