US STOCKS-Futures lower after China, Japan data disappoints
* 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. Continuación...