* 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 (Reuters) - 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 premarket trade.
* On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 indexes climbed to all-time highs after the Fed announcement.