Stockpickr) -- Traders are gearing up for the start of another shortened trading week this morning, hoping to eke out every last bit of gains before the calendar flips over to 2014.
>>5 'Dogs of the Dow' to Buy in 2014
Across the Pacific, Japanese equity markets have already ended trading for 2013, taking home a 57% year-to-date gain -- the biggest one-year return for the country's Nikkei 225 Index in four decades. It's enough to make the S&P 500's 29% run this year look downright calm. Even though U.S. stocks aren't on track for quite as historic a close for 2013, we're still set to end the year on a very high note.
And that bodes well for 2014 as well. Looking back at every year since 1975 when the S&P earned greater than 20% gains, the year that followed averaged gains of 12.8%. So while I doubt the New Year will be able to keep up the breakneck pace in stocks, history suggests that it'll be a strong year for equities all the same.
>>5 Stocks With Big Insider Buying
That's why we're turning to a new set of Rocket Stocks worth buying this week.
>>5 Dividend Stocks Ready to Pay You More in 2014