* Fed to continue $85-billion monthly bond purchases
* Weekly jobless claims on tap
* Futures up: Dow 58 pts, S&P 6.2 pts, Nasdaq 13 pts
NEW YORK, Sept 19 U.S. stock index futures rose
on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve surprised investors
and economists by keeping its stimulus measures intact.
* U.S. Federal Reserve defied investor expectations on
Wednesday by postponing a wind-down of its massive monetary
stimulus, saying it would wait for more evidence of solid
economic growth. The Fed will continue, for now, with its
$85-billion monthly bond purchases which have propped up
economic growth and equity markets for much of the year.
* The news boosted global equity markets, including European
shares, which were on track for their highest close in more than
five years. Southeast Asian stocks and currencies also rose
sharply as investors returned to emerging markets in droves
after the Fed's decision.
* The FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.9 percent at
1,270.25 points, around its highest since mid-2008.
* S&P 500 futures rose 6.2 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 58
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 13 points.
* In economic news, weekly jobless claims are due at 8:30
a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Analysts in a Reuters survey expect claims
to have risen to 330,000, from the previous week's 292,000.
Existing home sales data is due at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT).
* Priceline Com Inc shares could be in the
spotlight after its shares hit $1,000 on Wednesday, the first
S&P 500 stock to hit that level. The stock was unchanged in
* On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500
indexes climbed to all-time highs after the Fed announcement.