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Why these 4 shares are getting pummelled today

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) is trading 0.35% lower today as investors await the outcome of tomorrow morning’s U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

The mining sector is one of the few bright spots on the market this afternoon, with big falls coming from the healthcare, consumer staples and gold sectors.

A number of shares are being hit particularly hard today, including:

Auscann Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: AC8)

The Auscann Group share price has plummeted 23% today, despite no news from the company. It appears some short term traders have decided it is time to lock in profits after a spectacular rise over the last three weeks. The entire medical marijuana sector has enjoyed a great run during this time after the government relaxed laws that restricted the supply and importation of the drug. Only yesterday, shares of Stemcell United Ltd (ASX: SCU) skyrocketed 3,000% after it announced plans to explore opportunities in the sector.

Orocobre Ltd (ASX: ORE)

The Orocobre share price has dropped nearly 4% today as investors continue to punish the company for a production downgrade. The lithium miner has now seen its shares fall by around 30% since it announced the downgrade last month and by around 45% since the end of January. Adding to the bad news for the sector is the speculation that Argentina is planning to potentially flood the lithium market with a rapid increase in production.

Baby Bunting Group Ltd (ASX: BBN)

The Baby Bunting share price has continued to trend lower today, losing another 4.3% to $1.96. As highlighted here, it appears investors have cooled on the baby retailer’s prospects after management warned that second-half growth was likely to moderate. Some parts of the market may also be wary of Amazon.com’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) entrance into the Australian retail market later this year and the impact this could have on operating margins.

Perseus Mining Ltd (ASX: PRU)

The Perseus Mining share price has fallen more than 6.2% today thanks to gold prices falling overnight. The junior miner is one of the worst-performing gold shares today, although St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) and Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) are also notable underperformers today. The gold sector has been one of the biggest losers over recent months as investors have become more comfortable with the outlook for the global economy and the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.

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