With retailers nervous about how the all-important holiday shopping season will ultimately turn out, discounts may have helped bring more shoppers into J.C. Penney stores, but it's too early to tell if the retailer is grabbing market share from competitors like Target and Kohl's, Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel told CNBC.
Meanwhile, the strong run for some retailers in 2012 may not be sustainable into 2013, according to RJ Hottovy, an analyst at Morningstar. "We've had a great three-year run in consumer discretionary in terms of both sales growth and profitability gains," he said. "So we think there's a pullback in store for 2013."
As consumers remain cautious, Hottovy likes low-priced retailers Costco and Amazon.com as well as retailers like Home Depot and Williams-Sonoma that could benefit as the housing recovery gathers pace.
Barclays media analyst Anthony DiClemente also sees opportunity for media companies like News Corp. and Time Warner as consumers watch more content on their mobile devices.
"We think that moving forward, all the tablets and devices that are out there expands the point of purchase for media," DiClemente said. "That bodes well for media as long as it's not too much content that people cut the cord," he added, referring to consumers' willingness to completely break away from television in favor of digital and online entertainment.
Banks have been on a tear over the past six months, rising nearly 40 percent, but Brennan Hawken, a banks analyst at UBS, is wary of big challenges in the new year, challenges that favor the industry's strongest players.
"There's a lot of optimism that's starting to get baked into these (financials') names, but I still see a lot of headwinds potentially clouding that optimism," he said, noting that regulatory and political pressure threaten to limit growth opportunities.
He also expects the Federal Reserve to proceed cautiously in allowing banks like Citigroup and Bank of America to return more capital to shareholders.
—By CNBC's Justin Menza
Disclosure can be found in the individual Stock Blogs.