Market wipeout: Stocks crushed in $24 billion rush for the exits

S&P/ASX 200 sinks 1.3%, but these stocks fared much worse

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The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) came tumbling down today, losing 1.3% and wiping $23 billion of value off the market – according to Fairfax Media.

That follows similar falls on US markets on Friday, where the Dow Jones lost 1.5% and the NASDAQ fell 1.1%. Strong US economic data likely means the US central bank will raise US interest rates sooner rather than later. That means bad news for gold stocks in particular, with the S&P/ASX All Ords Gold (Index: ^AXGD) (ASX: XGD) down more than 5% today, with gold trading around US$1,172 an ounce.

Among the gold losers were Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) losing 11.4%, Beadell Resources Ltd (ASX: BDR) down 8.9%, Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) down 8% while Perseus Mining Limited (ASX: PRU), Evolution FPO (ASX: EVN) and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) all fell around 7%.

Genetic Technologies Limited (ASX: GTG) dropped 16% to 4.2 cents. The company, which specialises in DNA testing, has soared 40% in the last month, including today's fall. On Friday, Genetic went into a trading halt, before announcing that it was raising $18.6 million (clearly taking advantage of the surging price) through the issue of the equivalent of 500 million shares to US investors. That will significantly dilute existing shareholders – hence the price fall when trading resumed today.

Mining equipment supplier Bradken Limited (ASX: BKN) crashed down 14% to $1.90, despite no news from the company. Sliding commodity prices, particularly gold which is now below US$1,200 an ounce and expected to fall much further if the US dollar strengthens, but also iron ore could mean less business for Bradken. Early price falls suggest traders were spooked by the fall and rushed for the exit, only to perpetuate the falls throughout the day. The market may well change its mind tomorrow and push the stock up.

Imdex Limited (ASX: IMD) also fell, losing 10.6% to close at 29.5 cents, likely for similar reasons to Bradken, given the company also provides products and equipment to the resources and energy sector. Mining services contractor NRW Holdings Limited (ASX: NWH) also slumped 10% to 22.5 cents.

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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