The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Spain and the European Commission are working out details for how the country would be in compliance with terms for a loan from the European Stability Mechanism.
Spain has yet to ask for help and has been holding back on making a formal request, in part because the terms of a loan could require harsh budget adjustments.
With Spanish banks holding large numbers of toxic mortgages, however, investors reacted favorably to news that Spain could be preparing to make a request for aid.
By close of trading in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average shed 17.46 points, or 0.13 percent, to 13,579.47. The tech-dominated Nasdaq Composite index gained 4 points, or 0.13 percent, to 3,179.96. The Standard and Poor's 500 gave up less than a point or 0.01 percent, to 1,460.15.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,781 stocks advanced and 1,256 declined on a volume of 4.7 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year treasury rose 3/32 to yield 1.756 percent.
The euro rose to $1.2982 from Thursday's $1.2968. The U.S. dollar fell to 78.18 yen from 78.25 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.25 percent, 23.02 points, to 9,110.
In London, the FTSE 100 index was flat, dropping 0.03 percent, 2.02 points, to 5,852.62.