The November crude contract reined in its earlier losses to close on a deficit of just 19 cents, at $80.05 per barrel. It's the third straight session of declines for black gold, and many analysts believe the losses can be chalked up to simple profit-taking after oil's record-setting run last week. Other petroleum products were mixed: November reformulated gasoline gained fractions of a cent to close at $1.9828 per gallon, while November heating oil gave back 1.84 cents to finish at $2.1623 per gallon. Tomorrow should be a busy day in the oil pits, as the Energy Department and the American Petroleum Institute will deliver weekly inventory updates.
Oil prices could bounce back in sessions to come, as traders continue to fret over storm developments that could impact production output. Earlier today, forecasters at Colorado State University lowered their hurricane forecast for October and November to 4 named storms from 5. Two of the storms are expected to become hurricanes, and 1 is expected to be a major hurricane. Tropical storm activity heading into the Gulf is credited for the 5.4% jump in natural-gas futures today. The November contract settled at $7.427 per million British thermal units.
Meanwhile, December gold fell 2.4%, or $17.80, to settle at $736.30 per ounce. The contract earlier tapped a 1-week low of $730.80. The rebounding U.S. dollar and profit-taking on the front-month crude contract applied pressure to the yellow metal, which soared to multi-year highs on inflation concerns after the Federal Reserve's recent rate cut. December silver followed gold's path lower, losing 40.5 cents to finish at $13.45 per ounce.