Stocks faded in the afternoon on Thursday to end mostly lower, with investors skeptical a key vote in Congress will break the logjam impeding a deal to avoid a default.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 61.45 points, or 0.50 percent, to 12,241.10, according to the latest available figures. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> lost 4.11 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,300.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 1.46 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,766.25.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)