What Does Position Closing Only Mean Robinhood?

Robinhood, a popular trading platform, offers a feature known as “Position Closing Only” (PCO) for certain securities. This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of what PCO means and its implications for Robinhood users.

What Does Position Closing Only Mean Robinhood?

Position Closing Only refers to a scenario where a trader can only close or reduce their existing positions in a particular security, but cannot open new ones. This limitation is placed by Robinhood when they deem it necessary to protect their users and maintain market stability.

Reasons for Position Closing Only Status

There could be several reasons for a stock or security to have a PCO status on Robinhood. Some of these reasons include:

High Volatility

When a stock experiences extreme price fluctuations within a short time frame, Robinhood may restrict trading by imposing PCO.

Market Manipulation

If there is a suspicion of market manipulation, Robinhood may enforce PCO to prevent traders from getting caught in the crossfire.

Regulatory Issues

Sometimes, regulatory bodies may impose restrictions on trading certain securities, prompting Robinhood to enforce PCO.

Company-Related Issues

Financial troubles or significant company news may cause Robinhood to impose PCO as a precautionary measure.

How Does Position Closing Only Affect Traders?

Limited Trading Options

With PCO in place, traders can only close or reduce their positions, limiting their ability to capitalize on market opportunities.

Risk Management

Traders may face difficulty in managing their risk exposure if they are unable to open new positions to hedge against existing ones.

Portfolio Diversification

PCO can also hinder a trader’s ability to diversify their portfolio, as they cannot add new positions in the affected security.

Real-Life Examples of Position Closing Only

The GameStop Saga

In early 2021, the GameStop (GME) stock experienced a meteoric rise due to a short squeeze. Robinhood and other trading platforms enforced PCO on GME to protect their users and maintain market stability.

The AMC Short Squeeze

Similar to GameStop, AMC Entertainment Holdings experienced a short squeeze in 2021, leading to trading platforms like Robinhood implementing PCO.

How to Identify Position Closing Only Stocks on Robinhood?

Robinhood provides clear indicators for PCO stocks. When a stock is marked as PCO, you will see a red label stating “Position Closing Only” next to the stock’s name in your watchlist or when you search for it.

How Long Does Position Closing Only Last?

The duration of PCO can vary depending on the factors causing it. In some cases, it may last for just a few hours, while in others, it could persist for days or weeks.

What to Do When a Stock Is in Position Closing Only?

When faced with a PCO stock, traders have a few options:

Close or Reduce Positions

If you believe that the stock will continue to decline or that the PCO status will persist, you may choose to close or reduce your position.

Monitor the Stock

Keep a close eye on the stock’s price movements and any news related to it to make informed decisions.

Diversify Your Portfolio

Consider diversifying your portfolio by adding positions in other stocks that are not affected by PCO.

Alternatives to Robinhood for Trading Position Closing Only Stocks

If you want to continue trading a stock that is in PCO on Robinhood, you can consider using alternative trading platforms. Some popular alternatives include:

  • Fidelity
  • Charles Schwab
  • TD Ameritrade

How Robinhood Handles Margin Calls During Position Closing Only?

If a stock in your portfolio is marked as PCO and you receive a margin call, you may have to deposit additional funds or liquidate other positions to meet the margin requirement. Since you cannot open new positions in the PCO stock, you will need to take action in other parts of your portfolio.

Pros and Cons of Position Closing Only

There are both advantages and disadvantages to the Position Closing Only feature on Robinhood:


  • Protects traders from potential losses due to extreme volatility or market manipulation.
  • Maintains market stability by limiting trading activities in specific securities.
  • Encourages traders to diversify their portfolios by exploring other investment opportunities.


  • Limits trading opportunities for traders, especially those who are experienced and confident in their strategies.
  • May lead to suboptimal risk management, as traders cannot open new positions to hedge against existing ones.
  • Traders may miss out on potential profits during market upswings.

Position Closing Only and Short Selling

Short selling is a strategy where a trader borrows shares of a stock, sells them, and then buys them back at a lower price to return to the lender, profiting from the difference. In a PCO scenario, traders with short positions can only close or reduce their short positions, and cannot open new ones.

Understanding Robinhood’s Risk Management Measures

PCO is just one of the many risk management measures that Robinhood implements to protect its users and maintain market stability. Other measures include:

  • Margin requirements: Ensuring traders have enough capital in their accounts to cover potential losses.
  • Trading halts: Temporarily suspending trading in a security due to extreme volatility or news events.
  • Pattern day trading rules: Limiting the number of day trades a trader can make within a rolling five-day period without meeting certain account balance requirements.

How to Stay Informed About Position Closing Only Stocks?

To stay updated on the PCO status of stocks, consider doing the following:

  • Monitor your watchlist and positions on Robinhood for any PCO labels.
  • Follow financial news sources for updates on market conditions and regulatory actions.
  • Join trading forums or communities where members share updates and insights about affected stocks.

Conclusion: Navigating Position Closing Only on Robinhood

Understanding what Position Closing Only means on Robinhood is crucial for traders who want to make informed decisions in the face of market uncertainty. By being aware of the reasons behind PCO, its effects on trading, and the available options for managing your investments, you can continue to adapt and grow your portfolio even when faced with trading restrictions.

Remember that diversification is key to managing risk, and exploring alternative trading platforms can provide you with more options to achieve your investment goals. Stay informed, keep an eye on market trends, and be prepared to adjust your strategies when faced with Position Closing Only situations.

FAQs | What Does Position Closing Only Mean Robinhood?

Q1: What does position closing only mean?

A1: Position Closing Only (PCO) means that a trader can only close or reduce their existing positions in a particular security but cannot open new ones. This restriction is usually placed by a trading platform like Robinhood to protect its users and maintain market stability.

Q2: What is the difference between open position and closed position?

A2: An open position is an active trade in a security, where the trader has either bought or short-sold shares with the expectation of making a profit. A closed position occurs when the trader sells or buys back the shares to realize a profit or loss, effectively ending the trade.

Q3: Does closing a position count as a trade?

A3: Yes, closing a position is considered a trade. When you close a position, you are essentially executing a buy or sell order, which counts as a trade.

Q4: When should you close a position?

A4: Closing a position depends on the trader’s strategy and market conditions. Factors to consider when closing a position may include reaching a target profit or loss, changes in market sentiment, new information about the security, or changes in the trader’s risk tolerance.

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