Frequently Asked Bloomberg Questions
A general note: the basic functions outlined in the Bloomberg Help Sheet can be used in more than one area. For example, you can use HP to get historical prices almost anywhere-for the closing prices of an index, for example, type the index code followed by the INDEX key and HP. Total retrun analysis is TRA in any area, just as COMP can be used to compare stocks or indexes, or DES can be used to pull up the description of a stock, fund, commodity, or index. Please be aware, however, that not every function is supported universally- there are no P/E ratios for funds, for example.
You can use the F1 Help key whenever you cannot find a function. Simply type what are you looking for, hit the F1 key and view the results. If you still cannot find an answer to your question, hitting F1 twice and sending a message to Bloomberg’s help staff is often productive.
For more information on indexes, please see the Equity General Page.
The WACC, or Weighted Average Capital Cost, is easy to obtain. To go directly to the WACC type Ticker [F8 Equity] WACC and hit the Go key. If you are already viewing the company’s entry, merely type WACC and Go. Bloomberg does not support historical prices for the WACC function.
Historical Commodity Prices:
Commodity prices can be difficult to access. The one method is to use the help function to find the proper ticker or entry for the commodity in question. To do this, simply type the commodity name (Orange Juice, for example) and commodity, futures, etc. and hit the F1 Help key. Select the proper commodity from the resulting list, pull it up (type the commodity code and then the yellow commodity key and GO).
Another way to find a commodity would be to use the yellow commodity key followed by either CEM or OTM and GO. The first option will give you commodity info via the contract table and the second by the exchange menu. From these lists you can select a commodity with the mouse or by typing the commodity’s number and GO.
Within a commodity sub-catagory (steel, for instance) the top commodity listed is the most heavily traded. Regardless of how you found your commodity, once your are there, merely type HP and GO to get historical prices.
Spot Commodity Prices:
The simplest method for finding spot commodity prices is to type the commodity name, spot and then to hit the F1 Help key.
Index Closing Prices, Historical:
To find an index’s historical prices, type the index code (SPX, for example, is the code for the Standard and Poor’s 500) [F10 Index] HP and press Go. Please go to the Bloomberg Help Sheet Equity Index Information section to see a list of index codes as well as for more index functions.
Country Risk Rates:
Type CRP and press Go. Note: Bloomberg does not carry historical country risk rates.
Mutual Fund Distributions:
Type the ticker code of the mutual fund, then press the Equity key, then type DVD and Go-TK [Equity] DVD Go. This is identical to the method for bringing up stock dividends.
Bloomberg does not support P/E for funds.
Use the following formula to get historic and current yield information on U.S. Treasury Bills and Government Bonds
SHORTCUT [GOVT] HP [GO]
- SHORTCUT – DESCRIPTION
- GB3 – 3 Month Treasury Bills
- GB6 – 6 Month Treasury Bills
- GB1 – 1 Year Treasury Bills
- GT2 – 2 Year Bonds
- GT3 – 3 Year Bonds
- GT5 – 10 Year Bonds
- GT30 30 – Year Bonds
- PX – Government pricing monitor menu
Use the following formula to access these functions:
- SHORTCUT – DESCRIPTION
- ECDR – New issue calendar main menu
- ECDR3 – Listing of all IPO’s and secondary offerings coming current week
- ECDR8 – IPO summary, total number of and dollar value of new issues by month
- ECDR13 – Lists IPOs by industry
News and Stock Prices:
Bloomberg has a very simple method for finding news headlines related to stock price movements. Use the following formula to arrive at a graph of your company’s stock prices: Ticker [Equity] GPO [Go]. At the top of the resulting graph will be a menu bar. Click the “News” option. You will now be able to use the mouse to select a specific point in the graph; clicking will bring up the news headlines for the day covered in that point of the graph.
To find the beta of an industry, you must first know the code for the index that covers that industry. Hit the [Index] key and press [Go]. Once you have determined the proper index, type the Index Code [Index] SPX [Index] PRH [Go]. This should give you a comparison of the industry to the Standard and Poor’s 500.
To see a list of recent help desk requests, type HDSK GO