* Futures up: Dow 42 pts, S&P 5.25 pts, Nasdaq 12.25 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Merrimack Pharmaceuticals shares were surging in premarket trade, up 24.5 percent to $8.95 after the company said it reached a deal to develop and market Merrimack’s pancreatic cancer drug outside the U.S. with Baxter International.
Merrimack said it would receive a $100 million upfront payment from Baxter and could earn up to $120 million more in milestone payments for the drug.
Volume of more than 485,000 shares made the stock the second most actively traded issue on the Nasdaq in premarket trading and represented over 35 percent of its 10-day average.
Bed, Bath & Beyond shares were trading up 5.4 percent to $66.05 in premarket trading after the home furnishings retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue as increased discounting and promotions helped attract more shoppers to its stores.
Should the gains hold throughout the session, it would mark the biggest percentage jump for the stock since April 2012.
U.S. stock index futures were trading modestly higher on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 on track to snap a three-session losing skid, ahead of data on the housing market.
Providing support was a renewed pledge by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi to keep monetary policy loose for an extended period to push inflation in the euro zone closer to the two percent level.
New home sales data for August is due at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT). Sales of single-family homes are expected to increase to 430,000 from the 412,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in July.
Accenture shares were off 2.7 percent to $78.51 in premarket trading after posting fourth-quarter results and forecasting first-quarter revenue largely below analysts’ expectations.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.25 points, or 0.27 percent, with 159,593 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were gaining 12.25 points, or 0.3 percent, in volume of 22,642 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 42 points, or 0.25 percent, with 18,396 contracts changing hands. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)