Stocks lower as earnings season begins

NEW YORK -- Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street as the season of corporate earnings reports begins.

Just after the Wednesday opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average is down 20 points at 13,453. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down a fraction of a point at 1,440. And the Nasdaq composite index is down one and a half at 3,063.

Alcoa stock is opening slightly lower. The aluminum company beat Wall Street earnings estimates on Tuesday night but cut its demand expectation for the year, mostly because of a slowdown in China. Alcoa is down 12 cents at $9.01.

At 10 a.m. EDT, economists expect the Commerce Department to report that U.S. wholesale businesses appear to be more optimistic that sales will turn around.