Shares of Walmart Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT +0.15% rose 1.5% in morning trading Wednesday, after the discount retail behemoth said it plans to hire 40,000 employees for the holiday season. The new hires will include seasonal store employees, full-time permanent truck drivers and customer-care employees. The company said the average U.S. wage is more than $17 an hour. Walmart has raised employee pay the past several months in many areas, from pharmacy technicians to truck drivers. A year ago, the company had said it planned to hire 20,000 supply chain employees, to work at distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices, with an average pay of $20.37 per hours, at a time that many companies struggled with supply chain bottlenecks. Walmart's stock has slipped 6.3% year to date, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF /zigman2/quotes/200697959/composite XLP +0.54% has shed 7.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +0.55% has lost 15.0%.