Gold and silver prices hovered near their opening prices Wednesday after rising sharply in the morning before settling back in the afternoon.

In early afternoon trading the most widely traded futures contract on the CME Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was up $3 at $1,788. It rose from an opening price of $1,785 to $1,797.60 within less than three hours.

Silver was up 17 cents to $39.99 after opening at $39.92 and rising to $40.62.

Shares of large gold mining companies posted gains, while large silver mining companies were mixed.

The S&P 500 fell .55 to 1,192.21 and the U.S. dollar remained little changed.