I have a short position. It reverse split and now I’m left with a fractional share.
How do I buy to cover on E*Trade when it won’t accept the .5 share along with the others? Why wouldn’t they round up or down?
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Fractional shares due to a reverse split are handled a number of ways and it depends on the company and the broker.
If your broker offers the ability to trade fractional shares then there's no problem.
Some brokers will sell your soon to be fractional shares before the split.
If you have fractional shares after a reverse split, for the fractional shares you may receive:
A cash-in-lieu payment
Additional shares rounding up to a whole number
In your case, you should call E*Trade and ask them what the solution is.