Friday could be a tense day for markets, as a resolution to the "fiscal cliff" appears less likely in the final trading days of the year.
Stock futures fell sharply Thursday evening after House Speaker John Boehner said he failed to mount support for his "Plan B" version of a bill that would raise taxes only on families earning more than $1 million, a plan already opposed by the White House. GOP leaders said the House would not take up any other votes until after Christmas, meaning the fiscal cliff talks could now count down to the new year's deadline or later.
Dow futures saw triple digit losses Thursday evening, while Asian markets gave up early gains.
"Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The House has already passed legislation to stop all of the January 1 tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation's crippling debt," said Boehner in a statement. "The Senate must now act."
The cliff is the more than $500 billion in taxes and spending cuts that would start hitting the economy Jan. 1 if Congress does not act. Many market participants have been expecting a compromise between House Republicans and the White House that would be enough to head off the worst affects and lead to bigger tax and budget discussions in the new year.
(Read More: Fiscal Cliff' Impasse: Can a Deal Still Get Done?)
Stocks so far have been tilting toward a positive resolution of the "fiscal cliff," but anxiety is rising that the talks between Congress and the White House could fail.