New orders dropped 0.1 percent, but the devil was in the details. The category that dropped farthest was new orders for primary metals, indicating management in U.S. factories believe demand for goods is falling.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November delivery settled at $80.77 per barrel, down from a morning price of $83.73 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Oil had come back from a downturn prompted by last week's fall in equity markets and two companies, Eni of Italy and Total of France, saying they were returning to Libya to bring wells back into production that were abandoned during six months of civil unrest.
On Wednesday, the dollar index rose 0.33 percent and the Energy Information Agency said crude oil supplies in the week rose by 1.9 million barrels after three weeks of declines totaling 18 million barrels.
Home heating oil prices in New York lost 5.82 cents to $2.8184 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices lost 4.88 cents to $2.6507 per gallon.
Henry Hub natural gas prices lost 0.4 cents to reach $3.88 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline dropped to $3.465 per gallon Wednesday from Tuesday's $3.479, AAA said.