It has been a day of ups and downs for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO). Once the market finally opened the index dropped lower, but in early afternoon trade it has fought back and is more or less flat at 5,295 points.

Doing a lot of the heavy lifting have been four shares in particular. Each has been putting on particularly strong gains so far today, here’s why:

St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) shares have jumped over 3% to $2.93 despite there being no movement in the gold price. In recent days US-based money manager VanEck has been increasing its holding in the gold producer from 13.8% to 15.5%. Judging by its bullish move, VanEck must be reasonably confident that the Federal Reserve won’t raise rates this week. Doing so is likely to cause a decline in the gold price.

Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX: SYR) shares are higher by 3.5% to $4.38. With the graphite producer’s shares down by a third in the last three months, some investors appear to be seeing an opportunity here. Syrah recently provided an operational and construction update on the progress of its Balama Graphite Project that revealed it is both on schedule and budget. The company aims for Balama spherical graphite to be used in the anode of lithium ion batteries.

Touchcorp Ltd (ASX: TCH) shares are up over 4% to $2.06 despite there being no news out of the company. I believe the cloud-based software platform provider is one of the best value growing tech shares on the market and a great investment currently. With its shares still down 17% this year and priced at 22x earnings, I suspect it could still have further to climb.

Wellard Ltd (ASX: WLD) shares have skyrocketed almost 24% to 29 cents following an announcement that its CEO Mauro Balzarini has sold almost half of his shares in the agribusiness company to Chinese company Fulida. The sale was part of a deal to refinance Mr Balzarini’s privately owned company WGH Holdings. In the press release Wellard stated that Fulida’s investment highlights its belief in the long term future of Wellard’s business, the industry, and the potential that China represents.

If you missed out on gains today don't worry. These three fantastic ASX shares could be next in line for big gains if you ask me.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of TOUCHCORP FPO. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.