* Merck to buy Cubist Pharma for $102 per share
* Japan, China data disappoints
* McDonald's falls after November sales
* Futures down: Dow 56 pts, S&P 6.75 pts, Nasdaq 12.5 pts (Adds premarket actives data)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Dec 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped on Monday, indicating the S&P 500 may retreat from its latest record high, as soft data in China and Japan kindled global growth concerns.
* Economic data showed China's exports rose at a slower than expected pace and imports dropped 6.7 percent in November, while Japan's economy shrank more than expected in the third quarter.
* The data put a damper on recent enthusiasm over the U.S. economy, after a strong payrolls report on Friday sent the S&P 500 to its 49th record close of the year. The benchmark S&P index has risen for seven weeks, its longest stretch in nearly a year, and is up more than 11 percent from an October low.
* Merck & Co Inc said it would buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc in a deal valued at $9.5 billion. Merck shares were little changed at $61.50 in premarket trading while Cubist shares surged 36 percent to $101.10. Premarket volume of over 700,000 shares placed Cubist at the top of the most active list for Nasdaq-listed stocks before the opening bell and had already exceeded its 50-day average.
* McDonald's shares lost 2.4 percent to $94 before the opening bell after the fast-food restaurant chain said global comparable sales fell 2.2 percent in November.
* Energy shares may come under pressure on Monday as Brent crude fell to a new five-year low on predictions that oversupply would keep building until next year. The S&P energy index is down over 9 percent for the year, making it the only one of the 10 major S&P sectors in negative territory for the year.
Futures snapshot at 8:06 a.m. EST (1306 GMT):
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 6.75 points, or 0.33 percent, with 102,323 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 12.5 points, or 0.29 percent, in volume of 20,143 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 56 points, or 0.31 percent, with 16,440 contracts changing hands. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)