The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) is trading sharply lower this afternoon on the back of growing concerns over next week’s U.S. Presidential election.

Investors have decided to rush to the exits, sending the main index 1.4% lower to 5,214 points. The only bright spot on the market today has been the gold sector, which has benefited from all of the uncertainty.

A number of shares have been hit extremely hard today, including:

Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT)

NextDc is one of a number of smaller cap shares getting hammered today. Its shares have fallen more than 10% for no obvious reason other than profit taking. Other shares in the same boat today include Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) – down 9.5%, Retail Food Group Limited (ASX: RFG) – down 5.2%, and BWX Ltd (ASX: BWX) down 5%.

Vita Group Limited (ASX: VTG)

Vita Group shares are suffering their third-straight day of falls today, dropping another 7.3% to $3.43. The shares have now lost more than 26% of their value since information emerged that suggested the company was renegotiating its commercial arrangements with Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS). Because this segment of Vita Group’s operation is so vital, investors shouldn’t be surprised to see further volatility until the issue is resolved.

Bega Cheese Ltd (ASX: BGA)

Shares of Bega Cheese have fallen 4.8% today after receiving a please explain from the ASX in relation to its recent update relating to its infant formula joint venture with Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL). The company has defended its decision to make the announcement at its AGM and not provide the update to investors as a separate market sensitive announcement. In any case, the shares have now plunged around 30% since last week’s disappointing update.

REA Group Limited (ASX: REA)

REA Group shares have fallen more than 3.4% today to sell at $49.49 – the first time the shares have dipped below $50 a share since early February. Although some investors may be nervous ahead of its upcoming first quarter results, today’s decline is consistent with a number of other higher multiple stocks that are being sold off including Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd. (ASX: DMP) – down 3.3%, and Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) – down 3%.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges owns shares of Blackmores Limited and Retail Food Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Retail Food Group 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.