4 ASX stocks sinking fast today

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has managed to post a positive close to trading, up 0.2% at 5,415.8. Large consumer stocks and the big miners were the biggest drag on the market.

Here are four stocks that were smashed today…

Arrium Limited (ASX: ARI), the steel producer and iron ore miner is in a world of pain, as its shares plummeted 29% to 40 cents, after completing the first phase of its capital raising. That’s below the retail entitlement offer price – and the company may struggle to raise its target of $289 million from its existing smaller shareholders, with the underwriters likely to end up with a big lump of shares. And if you’re asking, Arrium looks cheaper, but is still not an attractive investment.

Acrux Limited (ASX: ACR) dropped 26% to $1.25, after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee recommended new label warnings for testosterone therapy drugs and controls on marketing and advertising, including Acrux’s Axiron. The FDA doesn’t have to adopt the committee’s recommendation, but is likely to. As yet, the effect on Axiron sales is unknown, and we may not know for some time.

Vocation Ltd (ASX: VET) shares lost 8.7% to close at $2.74, as concerns rise of a review of three of the courses conducted by Vocation in Victoria. As part of the review, The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) had withheld recent payments. Vocation says the review and the anticipated outcomes are not material, but investors are certainly worried.

Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) fell as the gold price slumped more than 1% to new 8-month lows overnight. The gold miner lost 8% to end at $1.33. Gold traded as low as US$1,221.46 per ounce overnight, and could fall further as the US dollar rises. Interest rates are expected to rise in the US from 2015, in part, making other assets classes more attractive than gold.

With bank shares falling, you'd better take a look at this...

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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