US STOCKS-Wall Street retreats after mixed bag of earnings
* Travelers biggest drag on Dow after results
* Jobless claims unexpectedly fall last week
* Indexes down: Dow 0.53 pct, S&P 0.46 pct, Nasdaq 0.07 pct (Updates to afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
April 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street retreated on Thursday, heading for its first loss in four sessions after a mixed bag of quarterly reports and a warning by Verizon Communications that a strike by workers would likely impact its bottom line.
The benchmark S&P 500 index in recent days has rallied to within 1 percent of its May record high, buoyed by a softer dollar and recovering crude prices. But some investors warned that stocks were priced to perfection, leaving little room for quarterly scorecards that fail to inspire.
Tech heavyweights Alphabet and Microsoft were set to hand in their results after the bell.
"Earnings have been decent, outperforming, but outperforming expectations that have been dramatically lowered," said Charlie Johnson, a sales trader at Greentree Brokerage Services in Philadelphia. "So it's like a shell game."
Crude fell about 1 percent, but hovered near five-month highs after the International Energy Agency said 2016 would see the biggest fall in non-OPEC production in 25 years. Oil and U.S. stock prices have been moving in lockstep for several months. Continuación...