US STOCKS-Wall St to rise in wake of Fed statement as oil climbs
* Brent crude climbs over $63 a barrel
* Initial claims point to strengthening labor market
* Oracle up in premarket after results
* Futures up: Dow 221 pts, S&P 25.75 pts, Nasdaq 57.25 pts (Adds comments, data)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set for a stronger open on Thursday, building on gains in the prior session after the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy statement and as oil prices showed signs of steadying.
The benchmark S&P 500 index notched its best day since October 2013 on Wednesday 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.
"The bottom line is a June (rate hike) is still in play and even doves need to tighten at some point when the numbers start looking good," said James Liu, global market strategist at JPMorgan Funds in Chicago.
"The economy is improving, things are picking up, they need to get the ball rolling on this." Continuación...