Stock futures mixed ahead of unemployment claims

By MATTHEW CRAFT | July 21, 2011 | 8:29 AM EDT

FILE - In this July 18, 2011 file photo, trader James Riley, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets were mostly down Thursday, July 21, 2011, after China's manufacturing contracted and uncertain traders watched for progress on the U.S. government debt limit and Europe's debt crisis.(AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures are mixed ahead of weekly report on jobless claims.

Quarterly earnings reports are also out Thursday morning from Eli Lilly Co., Morgan Stanley and PepsiCo Inc.

The government will report on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. The forecast is that applications fell to 400,000. Investors watch claims for signs of the economy's strength.

Express Scripts said it would buy Medco Health Solutions for $29.1 billion. The merger would combine the largest U.S. pharmacy benefits management companies.

Stocks dipped Wednesday as concerns about lifting the U.S. debt limit trumped strong earnings from Apple.

Before the opening bell, Dow futures are up 2 points at 12,508. S&P 500 futures are up 1 point at 1,322. Nasdaq 100 futures are down 5 points at 2,376.