The House is set to reconvene Sunday, giving hope the budget impasse can be resolved and the so-called fiscal cliff averted, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The news almost erased the morning's losses, but markets closed in negative territory for the day.
Without a new budget plan in place by Jan. 1, a budget that calls for $500 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes would take effect. This has widely been predicted to be too much of an adjustment for the economic recovery, which some analysts say would turn into a recession should the default budget take effect.
By close of trading Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 18.28 points or 0.14 percent to 13,096.31. The Nasdaq lost 4.25 points or 0.14 percent to 2,985.91.
The Standard & Poor's 500 shed 1.73 points or 0.12 percent to 1,418.10.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,383 stocks advanced and 1,658 declined on a volume of 2.8 billion shares traded.
The 10-year treasury note was up 5/32 to yield 1.739 percent.
The euro rose to $1.3236 from Wednesday's $1.3224. The dollar rose to 86.58 yen from 85.62 yen.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.91 percent, 92.62 points, to 10,322.98.
In London, the FTSE 100 index rose less than 0.01 percent, adding 0.12 points to 5,954.30 after the Boxing Day holiday.