BUDGET UNCERTAINTY: Gold fell below $1,700 per ounce for the first time in about a week. Investors are uncertain about what's ahead for the economy because the U.S. budget remains unsettled.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: Republicans and President Barack Obama appeared to be far from reaching a compromise on a new budget. Tax increases and spending cuts will take place Jan. 1 without a budget in place. Many economists believe that could send the U.S. into a recession.
MIXED BAG: Prices fell for gold, industrial metals, oil, wholesale gasoline, wheat and corn. Orange juice futures and soybeans rose.