The U.S. stock market overreacted to Europe's financial turmoil, contrarian investor David Dreman told CNBC Tuesday.
"I am optimistic" about 2012, said the chairman of Dreman Value Management and author of several books including "Contrarian Investment Strategies — The Next Generation."
"I think we’re probably going to see less emphasis on the whole European situation. They are taking a backseat here," he said. "I think there was an overreaction last year."
Dreman said that with or without a euro zone, "Germany will continue to do well. I think France will do reasonably well. We haven’t seen much slower growth up to now. It is certainly not hurting the United States up to this point."
He sees unemployment continuing to be a major U.S. problem for the next two to three years. At the same time, Dreman expects stocks at "valuations that are lower than at any point since the mid-1990s."
He likes some "blue-chip" European stocks, including Nestle and Unilever, as well as oil and gas stocks such as Apache and Anadarko .