It has been a mixed day so far for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO). Although it has given back some earlier gains, in afternoon trade the benchmark index is just keeping its head above water and is up slightly to 5,476 points thanks largely to strong gains in the energy sector.

Four shares which have acted as a drag on the market today and have dropped significantly lower are as follows:

Class Ltd (ASX: CL1) shares are down 5.5% to $3.27 despite no news out of the growing superannuation administration software provider. Its shares have now dropped over 18% since it provided a quarterly update last week. I think the company has a very bright future and would view this sell off as an opportunity to make a long-term buy and hold investment at a decent price.

Estia Health Ltd (ASX: EHE) shares have continued their slide, this time by almost 6% to $2.72. The embattled aged care provider’s shares have come under heavy selling pressure since it downgraded its full year earnings guidance last week. Unsurprisingly investors headed for the exits in their droves, which has led its share price to lose over 19% of its value in the last five trading sessions.

Kidman Resources Ltd (ASX: KDR) shares have dropped over 4% to 70.5 cents after providing the market with an update on its Earl Grey lithium project in Western Australia. Although drilling of the Earl Grey spodumene bearing pegmatite is progressing at a rapid pace and has delivered outstanding high grade assays over wide intervals according to management, judging by the market’s reaction these results were not as outstanding as expected.

St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) shares have dropped 6% to $2.58 after the spot gold price edged lower again. The gold price had rallied off last week’s lows in the last couple of trading sessions, but it has slowly started to drop lower again. Currently it stands at US$1,258 an ounce, a long way from its September high of US$1,351 an ounce. Unfortunately as a rate rise in the United States before the end of the year looks almost inevitable, I feel it could yet drop lower.

If your portfolio took a hit today then I would highly recommend taking a look at these rapidly growing shares. Each could be just what your portfolio needs to take it higher in the coming months.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Class Limited. 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.