's debt-riddled countries drove most commodity prices lower Monday. Even a streak of record high prices for corn and soybeans was snapped.
Oil fell 4 percent, copper, 2 percent and wheat 3.2 percent. Gold and silver also dropped. About the only bright spot was natural gas, which ended up 1.2 percent.
The European concerns focused on Spain after its economy contracted 0.4 percent in the second quarter and the government predicted the economy would continue to shrink into 2013.
That sent the interest rate on Spain's 10-year bond up 0.22 percentage point to 7.45 percent, the highest level since the euro began in 1999.
Investors speculated that Spain could become the next country to seek bailout money from the 17 countries that use the euro. There also are lingering concerns about financially troubled Italy and Greece.
Commodities investors worry that Europe's problems will continue to dampen demand for oil, industrial metals, grains and other raw materials.
"I still think the markets have not really seen enough from European authorities to, you know, alleviate these fears," Kingsview Financial analyst Matt Zeman said. He speculated that conditions will worsen and the European Central Bank eventually will step in to buy bonds of various countries to help promote economic growth.
Commodities were also hurt by a stronger dollar. Since commodities are priced in dollars, a stronger dollar makes them more expensive for buyers who trade in other currencies such as the euro and the yen.
In agricultural contracts, corn and soybeans fell after making steady gains for weeks because hot, dry weather damaged the crops.
Corn for September delivery fell 10.5 cents to finish at $8.14 per bushel after setting a record high of $8.245 a bushel on Friday, the second consecutive record. The December contract, which was the most active, dropped 10.25 cents to $7.855 per bushel.
August soybeans declined 59 cents, or 3.4 percent, to end at $16.985 per bushel after hitting a record high of $17.575 per bushel on Friday, its third straight day of record highs. The November contract, also the most active, fell 64 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $16.2225 per bushel.
September wheat fell 30.5 cents to end at $9.1275 per bushel.
In other trading, September copper fell 6.8 cents to finish at $3.38 per pound, October platinum dropped $15.60 to $1,398.90 an ounce and September palladium ended down $5.15 at $570.95 per bushel.
August gold decreased $5.40 to end at $1,577.40 an ounce and September silver dropped 26 cents to $27.042 an ounce.
Benchmark oil dropped $3.69 to finish at $88.14 per barrel. Heating oil fell 10.54 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $2.8189 per gallon and wholesale gasoline ended down 6.01 cents, or 2 percent, at $2.8829 per gallon. Natural gas rose 3.6 cents to $3.117 per 1,000 cubic feet.