Canadian stocks are moving slightly lower on Wednesday morning as traders mull the first batch of reports from earnings season. Toronto's main index is down for a fourth straight session.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index has dropped 16.38 points or 0.18% to move at 8,808.37. The index has been trending lower since reaching its highest level in nearly three months last week.

Energy stocks are down about 0.4% as crude oil has pared most of its daily losses following the Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory report. Light sweet crude is down 25 cents at $48.90 after earlier hitting as low as $47.37. Encana (ECA.TO) is down about 1.5%.

In corporate news, Nortel Networks Corp. (NT.TO) has soared more than 30% amid reports in the Wall Street Journal the bankrupt network solutions company has received an offer from Nokia Siemens Networks to buy key assets. Both companies have declined to comment on the report.

Corus Entertainment (CJR-B.TO) fell 1.3% after it said its second-quarter net income amounted to C$29.0 million or C$0.36 per share, compared to C$35.4 million or C$0.41 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Shaw Communications (SJR.B.TO) is up 0.5% after the company reported second-quarter net income of C$156.23 million or C$0.36 per share, compared to C$298.85 million or C$0.69 per share last year.

Open Text Corp. (OTC.TO) is up 0.5% after the company said it acquired Toronto-based Vizible Corporation, a privately held maker of digital media interface solutions.

Forzani Group Ltd. (FGL.TO) has added 4.2% after the company announced a decline in fourth quarter net earnings to C$24.17 million, or C$0.79 per share, from C$28.7 million, or C$0.85 per share in the prior year. The company noted that Athletes World stores added C$0.2 million or C$0.01 per share to consolidated net earnings.

Tuesday after the bell, Alcoa reported a $497 million net loss for the first quarter, hurt by the impact of the economic downturn on its core industrial and commercial markets as well as an historic decline in aluminum prices. The company's quarterly loss per share also came in worse than what analysts had predicted.

On the economic front, data released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation revealed the seasonally adjusted annual rate of Canadian housing starts increased to 154,700 units in March from 136,100 units in February.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com