Traders can finally buy more GameStop (GME -2.26%) stock again after the mobile trading platform Robinhood raised its limit again yesterday, increasing the amount to 20 shares and 20 options contracts. Buying fractional shares of the video game retailer, however, is still prohibited.
We're likely to see those limits increased further as the big rally in GameStop is probably over after short interest in the stock plunged to just 39%. While still high, there's probably enough liquidity in its shares to allow remaining shorts to cover their position if they choose to.
Feeding frenzy burning out
Robinhood faced investor backlash for its actions during the rally after it first banned buying GameStop stock and then permitted purchases of just one share.
While the popular app did raise the threshold, it also kept in place limits on aggregate ownership, meaning an investor who already owns 20 or more shares of GameStop won't be able to buy more.
Robinhood also raised the thresholds of other volatile stocks that were similarly restricted (though not nearly as severely as GameStop) such as AMC Entertainment Holdings and Express.
The company was forced to raise over $3.4 billion from its financial backers to help it meet its capital needs during the stock-buying frenzy. Stock clearinghouses demanded the app increase its reserves in case there were substantial losses by investors, and it is reportedly looking to raise an additional $1 billion.
The later you are in this game with GameStop, the greater the risk of loss you assume. The earliest players made the most money, while those who follow, particularly now as the short squeeze gets long in the tooth, stand to lose their entire investment.
The buy limits Robinhood imposed may have ultimately prevented traders from suffering substantial losses.