10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Here is what you need to know:

Warren Buffett says stocks are cheap when measured against current interest rates.He told CNBC he raised his stake in Apple this year to about 133 million shares, double the holding as of December 31.

Buffett has earned $US1.6 billion on his Apple investment, his annual shareholder letter showed. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman criticised hedge fund fees, said stock buybacks were not un-American, and lauded the role immigrants have played in America.

Japan’s SoftBank Group nears an investment in US office-sharing startup WeWork. The deal is expected to be worth over $US3 billion, CNBC
reported on Sunday.

President Donald Trump’s
first budget proposal will not seek cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlement programs, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News on Sunday. It will seek a hike in defence spending, The Wall Street Journal reports.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly preparing Scotland to hold a second independence referendum. According to The Times, the call would coincide with the triggering fo Article 50, the formal notification of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The London Stock Exchange’s merger with Deutsche Boerse AG is in doubt. The LSE’s board said it believed the deal would not pass regulatory scrutiny, Reuters reports.

Deutsche Bank cuts its bonus pool for 2016 performance by 80%. The cuts are “of course frustrating,” Karl von Rohr, the lender’s chief administrative officer, told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

Samsung preps a new smartphone. The company sent press invitations for an event in New York City where it will announce the Galaxy S8, its first major product since the Galaxy Note 7 explosions debacle last year.

The Dow could stretch its record-closing streak for a historic 12th session. It would be the longest since 1987. Futures are down by 0.05%.

US economic data flows. Preliminary durable goods orders for January cross at 8:30 a.m. ET, pending-home sales at 10 a.m., and the Dallas Fed manufacturing index at 10:30 a.m.

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