US STOCKS-Futures rise after Fed keeps rates unchanged
* Futures up: Dow 16 pts, S&P 2.5 pts, Nasdaq 2.5 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday after the Federal Reserve decided to keep borrowing costs unchanged and painted an upbeat picture of the economy.
* The Fed said on Wednesday that near-term risks to the outlook of the U.S. economy had diminished, leaving the door open for a possible increase in the coming months.
* Traders have priced in an 18 percent chance of a rate hike in September and a near 40 percent chance in December. Those odds do not go significantly higher even until July next year, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.
* Wall Street ended lower on Wednesday, after the Fed was seen to be taking a more hawkish stance.
* Facebook posted second-quarter results on Wednesday that handily beat analysts' estimates, setting its shares to hit a record high in regular trading. The stock's 5 percent rise premarket made it the top percentage gainer among S&P 500 components.
* A set of better-than-expected results this week from key companies including Apple and Boeing have improved the prospects for corporate earnings in the latest quarter.
* Earnings of S&P 500 companies are expected to fall 3 percent, compared with the 5 percent decline estimated at the start of the earnings season, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Continuación...