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Could earnings flood revive stocks?

Stocks limp into the busiest day of the earnings season after throwing a tantrum over the Fed's cautious remarks about a slowing economy.

Earnings have been a mixed bag with disappointment in Boeing's forward guidance Wednesday pounding that stock. But a beat after the bell by Facebook, sparked a more than 10 percent rally in its stock after the close, and could help inject some positive momentum into the market Thursday.

Early morning earnings are expected from Caterpillar, Ford, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AutoNation, Eli Lilly, Johnson Controls, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, Diageo, Hershey, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Abbott Labs, Celgene, Pulte Group and Northrop Grumman, among others. Amazon.com reports after Thursday's market close, as does Microsoft, Visa, Amgen, and Electronic Arts.


Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Oil could be a factor for stocks again Thursday. U.S. crude futures rose above $32 on Wednesday amid speculation OPEC and others would agree to a deal to address the oversupply in the world oil market. But some analysts have been skeptical such an agreement could be reached.

Stocks slumped Wednesday after the Fed's 2 p.m. post-meeting statement noted concerns about a weaker economy and global conditions. But the central bank did not specifically state that it would defer rate hikes, unsettling some investors. The Fed has forecast four rate increases this year while the market expects but one.

Read More Fed holds line; rate hikes still on the table

"For those that got ramped up on expectations that the Fed was going to take March off the table, this was a disappointment," said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Wunderlich Securities. In the futures market, expectations for a hike in March fell to about 25 percent, from 31 percent, according to RBS.

Read More The Fed is losing its benchmark: Gross

But Hogan said the market was disappointed by the lack of any new specifics on rate hikes, while the Fed gave it a dose of negative news on the economic front. Those cautious comments alone made some in the market see little chance of a rise in March.

"The narrative of four rate hikes in 2016 has been walked back," he said.

Thursday's data includes weekly jobless claims and durable goods, both at 8:30 a.m. ET. Pending home sales are at 10 a.m.

Read More Forget rate hike, Fed could reverse course