Futures edge higher on boost from J&J, tech stocks

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(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and technology stocks led gains at the end of a week scarred by deepening concerns over prolonged inflation.

All the major U.S. indexes were set for a more than 1% weekly drop, their first since the week ended Oct. 1, as hot inflation numbers sapped investor sentiment and halted an earnings-driven streak of record closing highs.

Johnson & Johnson jumped 4.7% in premarket trading after the drugmaker said it is planning to break up into two companies focused on its consumer health division and the large pharmaceuticals unit.

Shares of mega-cap technology and communication stocks including Google-owner Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc, Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), Meta Platforms Inc, formerly known as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) also inched up.

Tesla’s top boss Elon Musk sold more shares of the electric car maker, regulatory filings showed, after offloading about $5 billion worth of stock following a poll he posted on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

Rising price pressures across the globe have been a top concern for market participants, with focus now shifting towards how consumer spending would fare as the holiday shopping season approaches.

A survey from the University of Michigan on consumer sentiment in early November and the Labor Department’s monthly JOLTS report is due at 10 am ET.

At 06:48 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 109 points, or 0.3%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.5 points, or 0.23%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 41.25 points, or 0.26%.

U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group Holding slipped 0.4% after the e-commerce giant said its sales – or gross merchandise value – during the Singles Day event grew at the slowest rate ever, underscoring the headwinds for China’s tech firms.

Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) rose 2.1% after late-stage studies found that its Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm significantly lowered blood levels of an abnormal form of the protein tau.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to hold a virtual summit on Monday, sources told Reuters, amid tensions over trade, human rights and military activities.