The U.S. stock markets rose on Tuesday, the last trading session for 2013. The S&P 500 Index extended its highest annual gain since 1997. The index achieved an annual gain of nearly 30% this year.

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According to Bloomberg, the valuation of the S&P 500 INDEX (INDEXCBOE:SPX)  went up to more than 20% to 17.4 times reported earnings due to the rally of stocks this year. The current valuation of the SPX is the highest since 2010.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television’s In the Loop with Betty Liu, Tobias Levkovich, chief equity strategist at Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) opined that the market is not overvalued.

“I don’t think the market is overvalued,” he said, but will it continue this nice smooth ascent with almost no volatility? We will see a more volatile year that might scare off some investors, which might be good. Sentiment is getting way too positive. It’s beyond complacency. Right now, we’ve seen them get carried away, and there could be some backup in the first half of 2014.”

Data from the Consumer Board’s index of consumer confidence indicated an increase from 72 points to 78.1 points in December. The S&P/Case Schiller index indicated the prices of properties in 20 cities climbed in October compared with the prices a year earlier.

U.S. Markets

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)- 16,577 (+0.44%)
  • S&P 500- 1,848 (+0.36%)
  • NASDAQ- 4,175 (+0.52%)
  • Russell 2000- 1,165 (+0.40%)

European Markets

  • EURO STOXX 50 Price EUR- 3,109.00 (+0.26%)
  • FTSE 100 Index- 6,749.09 (+0.26%)
  • Deutsche Borse AG German Stock Index DAX- 9,552.16 (-0.39%)

Asia Pacific Markets

  • Nikkei 225- 16,291.31 (+0.69%)
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index- 23,303.39 (+0.26%)
  • Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 Index- 2,330.03 (+1.33%)

Stocks in Focus

Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ) surged almost 10% to as much as $28.62 a share today after announcing that it adopted a poison pill plan. The company said it noticed an “unusual and substantial activity” on its stock in recent weeks. The largest publicly-traded rental car company in the United States suspected that more than one activist investor used options to acquire a stake.  CNBC reported that Dan Loeb of Third Point acquired a stake in Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HTZ), but he has no plans to take an activist role based on information from unidentified sources.

The stock price of Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL) surged more than 5% to as much as $14.64 per share after KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) revealed that it had acquired a 6.8% stake in the company. In its regulatory filing, the investment firm indicated its plan to discuss a possible merger or reorganization with the board of directors of the company.

Shares of Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) gained almost 3% to $77.13 per share after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) agreed to acquire Phillips Specialty Products Inc (PSPI), its flow improver unit.