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Fed debate and earnings-palooza could steer stocks Thursday

Fed statement hawkish?

Thursday looms large as the busiest day of the earnings season, with pharma, consumer products, big oil, financials and autos reporting before the market opens.

Heavy hitters — and Alphabet — are among those reporting after the closing bell. Facebook joined the high-profile winners of the quarter, rising 6.5 percent after Wednesday's close on stronger revenues.

The market will also keep the debate going on when the Fed will hike rates again, after it provided no clues in its post-meeting statement Wednesday. It did, however, upgrade its view on the economy, and some Fed watchers now see a possible opening for a hike in September. Others, however, are sticking to the view that December is more likely.