Earlier today, investors were treated to news that crude inventories fell by a wider-than-expected margin last week, an announcement that helped send crude above the 77 level in intraday trading. The October contract pared its gains a bit by the close, however, settling on a 57-cent gain at $76.30 per barrel. It was the contract's strongest close in nearly a month, and its fourth consecutive session of gains. Other petroleum products finished the session mixed: October reformulated gasoline gave back 2.84 cents to close at $1.9717 a gallon, while October heating oil gaining 3.69 cents, or 1.8%, to end at $2.1368 a gallon.

Checking in on another of our favorite commodities, December gold jumped $13.90, or 2%, to mark its highest close since late May. The contract ultimately settled at $704.60 an ounce, supported by high oil prices, strong demand, and a fresh outbreak of violence in the Middle East. Buoyed by gold's strength, December silver gained 17.8 cents, or 1.4%, to close at $12.533 an ounce and December copper added 1.2% to end at $3.3025 a pound.