* Futures up: Dow 33 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 31 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
July 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged and ahead of a raft of earnings reports, led by Amazon and Intel.
* The central bank, in a statement following a two-day policy meeting, indicated the economy was growing moderately and job gains had been solid. However, it noted that both overall inflation and a measure of underlying price gains had declined and said it would “carefully monitor” price trends.
* The statement was perceived as dovish by investors, with rate futures pricing in a 38 percent chance of an interest rate hike by December, compared with a little over 50 percent before the meeting.
* Wall Street closed at record highs on Wednesday, propelled by strong quarterly earnings.
* With about one-third of the S&P 500 companies having reported results, earnings are now expected to have climbed 9.9 percent in the second quarter, up from a projection of an 8 percent rise at the start of the month, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
* With equity markets at record levels, investors have been counting on strong earnings to justify the relatively expensive valuations for stocks.
* Online giant Amazon, Intel, Starbucks , Mattel are among the major companies to report results after the closing bell.
* Shares of Facebook jumped 5.91 percent in premarket trading after the social network’s results beat Wall Street estimates.
* Twitter was down 8.26 percent after the company’s quarterly results showed it failed to add users on a monthly basis in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter.
* Digital payments company PayPal Holdings rose 3.15 percent after raising forecast.
* Comcast was up 1.91 percent as its quarterly results topped expectations.
* Economic data expected later in the day includes weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT). Also, data from the U.S. Commerce Department is likely to show that durable goods orders rose 3.0 percent in June after it fell 0.8 percent in May.
* Oil prices held just below eight-week highs, supported by a steeper-than-expected decline in U.S. crude inventories that boosted expectations of a shift to a more balanced market.
Futures snapshot at 7:07 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were up 33 points, or 0.15 percent, with 18,885 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.2 percent, with 127,405 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 31 points, or 0.52 percent, on volume of 22,918 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)