Stocks were mostly higher, though unsettled trading made gains uncertain. Wall Street processed a jump in wage growth that raised the chances of a Federal Reserve more hawkish in its assessment of the economy. Factory orders in November reversed gains seen in October as the road to recovery in the manufacturing sector proved a choppy one. Orders in the U.S. declined by 2.4%. Walmart (WMT) dragged on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after a C-suite switch-up at its Sam's Club chain. The current chief merchandising officer at the members-only retailer will assume the position of CEO effective Feb. 1. Gap (GPS) climbed after reporting positive comparable-store sales over its holiday season. Sales growth was a welcome departure from the disappointing performances of other retailers such as Kohl's (KSS) and Macy's (M) .
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