US STOCKS-Futures climb as oil climbs; initial claims due
* Brent crude climbs over $63 a barrel
* Initial claims data on tap
* Oracle up in premarket after results
* Futures up: Dow 192 pts, S&P 23 pts, Nasdaq 57 pts (Adds premarket actives)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures surged on Thursday, putting the S&P 500 on track to extend gains from the prior session, as oil prices showed signs of stabilizing and ahead of data on the labor market.
* The benchmark S&P 500 index notched its best day since October 2013 after the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy and said it would take a patient approach toward raising interest rates, while the energy sector jumped more than 4 percent.
* Oil prices rose, boosting a rebound off five-year lows, with Brent crude climbing as high as $63.70 and WTI crude up more than 2 percent. Exxon Mobil rose 1.8 percent to $90.60 and the Select Sector Energy ETF gained 2.2 percent to $78.81 in premarket trading.
* Investors will eye weekly initial jobless claims data due out at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT) for signs of strengthen in the labor market. Expectations are for claims to have increased by 1,000 from the prior week to 295,000. Continuación...