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Stocks flat ahead of report on jobless claims

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New York (AP) -- Economic reports on the labor market and inflation will likely set the tone for the opening on Wall Street.

The Labor Department is expected to report that the number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week for the third time in four weeks. That's a sign hiring could pick up this year.

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A separate report is expected to show that wholesale prices increased in December, as a result of higher energy and food costs. The expected increase isn't likely to raise concerns about inflation, however.

Ahead of the opening Thursday, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 6 points, or 0.1 percent, at 11,714. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up 1, or 0.1 percent, at 1,284. Nasdaq 100 index futures are up 3, or 0.1 percent, at 2,307.

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