MIXED METALS: Gold was flat and silver rose slightly, but industrial metals like copper, palladium and platinum all fell. The government issued a disappointing report about orders for long-lasting factory goods, and the price of industrial metals depends on demand from manufacturing and other industry.

TEMPORARY RELIEF FOR CROPS: Prices for wheat and corn fell slightly, but investors still fear that higher crop prices will soon start affecting prices at the grocery store. Prices for wheat, corn and soybeans have been rising all summer because of a Midwest drought.

OIL WAVERS: Oil rose early in the day as Tropical Storm Isaac lurked in the Gulf of Mexico. But it fell after a trade journal reported that Western countries might release oil reserves.