Gold performed an about-face and finished the day higher as the dollar dropped ahead of this afternoon's release of the Fed's September 18 meeting minutes. Even though the minutes were released after the official close of gold trading, little was done to reverse the downtrend in the dollar, and after-hours trading has seen gold continue its run. In regular trading, December-dated gold finished the day $4.40 higher at $743.10 an ounce. The Fed's minutes showed that the central bank was more concerned about credit markets than the economy.

Crude futures finished the day $1.24 higher thanks to concerns surrounding heating-oil supplies. These concerns pushed the front-month contract 1.6% higher, with it settling at $80.26 per barrel. The Energy Department announced that in its monthly short-term outlook, colder temperatures and higher fuel prices will force U.S. households to pay roughly $88 more to heat their homes this winter. The concerns were sparked by a government report that temperatures in the lower 48 states are expected to be 4% colder than a year ago, but 2% warmer than the longer average.