Markets

Trading App Robinhood Sees Large Outage

Robinhood, a trading app used frequently by younger traders, experienced a large outage on Monday (March 2), according to a report by CNBC.

“We are experiencing a system-wide outage. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” the company told its clients on Monday.

The outage happened as the stock market as a whole is trying to rebound from the biggest loss of value in stocks since the financial crisis. Investors are panicking over the implications of the coronavirus, which has shown up in the United States and has had numerous economic impacts.

On Monday, all three major stock market averages were higher, after being in correction territory a week before. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded up 650 points.

“Your portfolio information is not available right now. Please check back later,” a message by Robinhood to clients said. Other people tweeted that the app was malfunctioning and only showed a single black or white screen.

Robinhood became popular with younger investors when it offered free trading in 2013. The company, which is based in California, said in December that it had 10 million users.

Other firms, like Fidelity and Charles Schwab, said they were also experiencing difficulties during an 800-point dive on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. TD Ameritrade also experienced some technical problems.

Higher-than-average trading volumes could potentially be to blame. Last week alone, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) moved over 200 million shares three times. ETF shares were traded 385 million times. Those numbers are exceptionally high, and also above the SPY’s monthly average, which is 97.3 million shares.

Robinhood’s free trading caused other brokerages to do the same, and TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Charles Schwab all dropped commission fees at the end of 2019.

“Our system is experiencing downtime issues that are affecting all functionalities on our platform,” a Robinhood tweet said. “We are aware of the issue and are working to have all systems up and running as soon as we can. We’re so sorry this is happening!”  

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