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Financial Databases Overview

About Bloomberg

Bloomberg is a premier financial services industry data integrator providing news and analytics for over 129 countries and 250 exchanges. Offerings include 24-hour historical and 15-minute delayed securities pricing, news, data, and analysis on companies, markets, and economies. Bloomberg market coverage includes: Government, Equity, Corporate, Mortgage, Money Market, Municipal, Preferred Equity, Commodities, Indices, Currency, and Derivatives.

Please see the Pardee Library Bloomberg tutorial for additional information.

Bloomberg Keyboard Basics

Bloomberg keyborad

The way to navigate on Bloomberg is to use its menu keys in combination with some command based shortcuts.


Enter/GO  use the GO key as you would a return or an enter key on a normal keyboard.

F1/Help – use whenever you cannot find a function. Simply type what are you looking for, hit the F1/Help key and view the results. If you still cannot find an answer to your question, hitting F1/Help twice will send an email to the Bloomberg Help Desk.

Menu – use to navigate from any function back to a menu of related functions.

Pg Up/Pg Down keys – use to navigate through pages of data; or, when viewing charts, to see data used to create the chart.

End Back – use to take you back to the previous screen.

Panel  toggles between the 2 most recently used of the 4 Bloomberg screens which appear when you log in. 

Print – use to print a single page; to print multiple pages, type the number of pages to print and then press the Print key.

ESC/Cancel  use to cancel the current function.

Log Off  Press once to log on using your name/password. Press once to log off.

Bloomberg keyborad

YELLOW KEYS are Market Sector Keys

F2/Govt – Displays list of bonds that match a ticker symbol, coupon, and/or maturity that you select, e.g. international & US Government bonds (such as T bonds).

F3/Corp – Corporate debt, corporate bond prices, and yields by company may be found with this function.

F4/Mtge – the Mortgage menu includes information about pools and generics.

F5/M-Mkt – Money Markets includes programs, which are records containing specific issue information. Money markets are for borrowing and lending money for three years or less. The securities in a money market can be US government bonds, Treasury Bills and commercial paper from banks and companies.

F6/Muni – the Municipal markets menu contains info about bonds issued by municipalities in the United States.

F7/Pfd – Preferred pre-markets covers both public and private securities offered by countries (US & UK mostly). Types include fixed-rate issues, zero coupon issues, floating rate notes, variable rate issues, convertibles, and warranties.

F8/Equity – Displays actual trades and information about US & global stocks (listed and Over The Counter/OTC). US equity data goes back to 1980.

F9/Comdty – the Commodity menu has all exchange-listed futures & options contracts of underlying financial & physical products, i.e. gold, wheat, etc.

F10/Index – all Indicative and/or statistical data & market monitor functions are grouped here under specific categories. Two main sections include: markets & leading economic indicators.

F11/Curncy – Current markets/monitors for global currencies.

Finding a Securities Identifier/Ticker

To retrieve the information listed below for your security you must have the security identifier. For equities the ticker is the most common identifier.

  1. To find the identifier/ticker choose the market sector <Equity>
  2. Type in the shortcut TK <GO>
  3. Enter your securities name and choose the ticker matching your security.

Finding information for your Security or Company once you have the Ticker

Type in your ticker, hit the <Equity> market key then the green <GO> key
For example: IBM <Equity> <GO>

IBM Bloomberg Equity Home Page
Once within a security’s universe use the shortcuts listed below to obtain data on your security.

For example: Security Description is DES <GO>

Or go directly to the information you are looking for like Relative Valuation (RV)

For example: IBM <Equity> RV <GO>

Data Downloading Policy

The Bloomberg terminal has a strict monthly data downloading limit (exporting data to Excel). Patrons should NOT download data without first speaking to a Pardee reference librarian. Students can use the Screenshot function to capture data without affecting the data downloading limit. This function enables students to email screenshots to themselves. Students can take multiple screenshots in order to capture the data that they need.

Downloading Data using the Bloomberg Spreadsheet Builder


Downloading Data using the Bloomberg Spreadsheet Builder


DAPI <GO> Bloomberg Excel Add-In Menu - Provides information on Bloomberg formulas and functions.

Bloomberg Formula Syntax:
BDH (Bloomberg Data History) downloads the historical data for a selected security and time frame.
BDP (Bloomberg Data Point) downloads data to a single cell in the Excel spreadsheet. This formula is used for only one security and one field.
BDS (Bloomberg Data Set) downloads descriptive data to the Excel spreadsheet and uses multiple cells.

Step 1: Click on Spreadsheet Builder.


Step 2: Click on Historical Data Table then click on the Next button.


Step 3: For Example - SPX 500 Index
Type the ticker symbol (SPX) in the All Securities box.  Click on SPX Index to select the index. Click on the Next button.


Step 4: Type Last Price in the All Fields box. Click on Last Price PX_LastClick on the Next button.


Step 5: Select the date range. Click on the Next button.


Step 6: Click on the Finish button.


Step 7: Historical prices for the S&P 500 Index will be downloaded into Excel.

Assistant Head, Information Services

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Kathleen Berger
Room 318E
Pardee Library