GOOD AS WHAT?: Gold leveled off, rising slightly after investors sent it down Wednesday, worried that the Federal Reserve might trim its bond-buying program, which would make gold less attractive.
LOWER STILL?: Gold has been falling for nearly five months, partly because an improving economy makes it a less compelling investment. Recent reports that some hedge funds are trimming their gold holdings also spooked some investors.
OIL SLIDE: U.S. benchmark crude fell 2.5 percent, the second drop of 2 percent in two days. A government report said that crude supplies grew more quickly than analysts had expected.