Gold futures dropped slightly today, following up on the $8-an-ounce gain from Monday. The precious metal slipped in the face of weakness in the U.S. dollar and strong oil prices. This combination helped gold to its highest level since 1980. Some speculate that the front-month gold contract could climb as high as $772, after closing at $762.40 an ounce this afternoon. In fact, some hint that we could see $800 gold before the end of the year. December silver and palladium both closed lower as did platinum and copper.

Crude finished the day sharply higher, adding $1.48 to close at $87.61 per barrel. Intraday trade saw black gold top the $88 mark for the first time ever, hitting a record high of $88.20 per barrel. Today's session marks the fifth in the last 6 that crude has added more than $1 on the session; this rally has seen crude add $8. Continued speculation concerning violence between Turkey and Iraq, which could disrupt oil supplies, is a major reason behind today's dollar-plus gain. Inventories will be reported tomorrow, and a drop in stock like last week's could push oil past $90 per barrel.