Trading platforms outage hits Robinhood, TD-Ameritrade & more amid Gamestop volatility

Chris Davies - Jan 27, 2021, 9:20am CST
Trading platforms outage hits Robinhood, TD-Ameritrade & more amid Gamestop volatility

Major trading platforms like Robinhood, TD-Ameritrade, E-Trade and more are seeing intermittent outages this morning, with users unable to log into their accounts as the stock market undergoes its weirdest week in a long time. The downtime – which also reportedly affects Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, and more – comes as Gamestop stock ($GME) surges for bizarre reasons, and AMC looks to be about to see the same turbulence.

That started when a group of Reddit-led investors set their sights on pumping Gamestop stock. Despite no real expectations that the game retailer would actually see a return in line with their investment, they flooded the market to drive it through one of the greatest periods of volatility GME has seen.

The motivation – beyond “doing it for the lulz” – appears to be taking on hedge funds which typically short-sell stocks to make a profit. While Wall Street seems confused by the movements, attempting to apply traditional explanations for share prices rising and falling, the Gamestop stock itself has roared up to around $300 a share.

Now, it seems, the attention on Reddit is turning to another languishing stock, that of movie theater chain AMC. In as much as there’s a collective strategy behind all this, it’s been selected as the next target for an apparent pumping. As you might have guessed, this is all fairly atypical for the stock market, and regular investors may want to steer well clear (this shouldn’t, to be entirely transparent, be considered investment advice) because the potential for losing large amounts of money is significant.

What seems to have come along with this surge in speculation is downtime for the big names in trading. Robinhood, TD-Ameritrade, E-Trade, Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, Vanguard, and more are all experiencing intermittent downtime on Wednesday morning, with users struggling to log in, check their portfolios, or commit any trades. While it’s unconfirmed whether that’s down to an increase in interest from this week of trading turbulence, it does seem likely to be connected.

“Due to a technical issue, some clients are experiencing issues with online trading,” Charles Schwab – which also owns TD-Ameritrade – said in a statement today. “We’re working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Please do not place trades again, as duplicate orders may be created. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

The struggles come only a day after extensive downtime predominantly on the East Coast of the US, though with impact across the country. That saw popular services like Google, Slack, Zoom, and more inaccessible to users.


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