COMMODITIES PLUNGE: Energy, metals and agricultural contracts all fell sharply as new doubts surfaced about the ability of European leaders to prevent a breakup of the euro.
EUROPEAN WOES: The concerns deepened after Italy's borrowing rates rose. That caused the euro to weaken and the dollar to strengthen. Commodities are priced in dollars, so a stronger dollar makes them more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
PROFIT SEEKERS: Many traders sold appreciated commodities contracts to make up for losses in other markets, and bought relatively low-risk assets like dollars and Treasurys.