As brick-and-mortar retail stocks struggled in 2017, Wal-Mart remained a top performer, according to U.S. News & World Report. Wal-Mart gained more than 43 percent this year while competitors like Target, Macy’s and J.C. Penney lagged. Target stock is down more than 9 percent, per U.S. News & World Report. Plano-based J.C. Penney – which rallied on Jan. 2 and closed at $3.50 – is trading down more than 60 percent year-over-year. Shares have tumbled on weak earnings, sliding to historic lows in August after disappointing second-quarter results. Shares recovered somewhat in November after the Plano retailer saw larger-than-expected increases in comparable sales during the third quarter. Analysts at MKM Partners expect Wal-Mart’s momentum to carry through the fourth quarter and they predict the company will report 1.8 percent same-store sales growth in Q4, according to U.S. News & World Report. Kari Firestone, co-founder and CEO of Aureus Asset Management, said Wal-Mart’s decision to emphasize its online sales business made it a top contender against Amazon. Read more at Dallas Business Journal.