Market Data FAQ

1. What is Market Data Center?  What type of information does the Market Data Center provide?

Market Data Center is a comprehensive, content-rich, free online information resources for retail investors with a strong emphasis on fixed-income securities. The Market Data Center includes: detailed market data on equities, options, mutual funds and a wide range of bonds, including corporate, municipal, Treasury and agency bonds; a full profile for every exchange-listed company, including company description, recent news stories and SEC filings, and an interactive list of domestic securities the company issues; information on individual securities, equities indices and the FINRA-Bloomberg Active U.S. Corporate Bond Indices for investment-grade and high-yield bonds; U.S. Treasury Benchmark yields, market news, an economic calendar and other information indicating current market conditions; and  FINRA Investor Education material.

 

2. Does the Market Data Center provide a way for me to keep track of those securities of interest to me?

A key feature of the Market Data Center is a customizable Watchlist allowing you to view bonds, equities and mutual funds in one display. At any time that you wish to view your existing Watchlist you may click on “Watchlist” on the left hand side of the navigation menu. You can add securities directly to your Watchlist by entering a symbol or CUSIP in the search box and clicking “Add”.  The Watchlist is automatically sorted by Bonds, Equities and Funds sub-categories. At any time you can sort within the security type by clicking on the hyperlinked headings (e.g. Price).

 

3. How can I search for Company specific Information using the Market Data Center?  What kind of information is available?

You can access the Company Information Main Page from Market Data Center Home by clicking on "Company Information" in the navigational menu located on the left hand side of the screen. You can perform the search by entering a symbol or a keyword(s) to search for a Company. The Company Information page will present a snapshot of Equity Quote Information, Options Information, and Bonds issued by the company, in addition to Company Profile, News Headlines and SEC Filings.  At any time if you wish to obtain more information about a specific section you may click on the appropriate "More Information" hyperlink. For example, the first 5 bonds issued by Home Depot are displayed on the Company Information page. To see all bonds issued by Home Depot, click the "More Bond Information" link.

 

4. How do I go about performing a search for equities and/or options using the Market Data Center?
In the Market Data Center, enter a symbol or a keyword to search for information on a specific equity/option.  The smart drop down list will provide you with possible matches.  On the Equity Detail Page you are presented with two navigation options: Equity and Options.

 

5. What equity and options information does the Market Data Center offer to investors?

The Equities and Options main screen offers information for Exchange Traded as well as Over-The-Counter (OTC) Traded Equities.  For instance, you could view Most Active, Gainers and Losers for various exchanges including NYSE, NASDAQ and AMEX or from the OTC market (equity data is delayed as required by the information provider, time of the delay is indicated in footnote on the page).  Further information could be obtained by clicking on the appropriate hyperlink(s). Additionally, on the equity detail page, on the right hand side of the screen you are provided with Equity News and the links to FINRA education materials and investor tools in the "Learn More" Section. Under the Equity view for a specific company you are presented with Price and Volume, Per Share Data, Measures of Management Effectiveness, Profitability,  and Valuation Ratio information, as well as a graph of price history (the displayed equity quote information is delayed as required by the information providers, time of the delay is indicated in footnote on the page). The graph will initially display three months price history, however you can change this by selecting any of the time frames available under the graph, including intraday (1 day) display. Additionally, you are provided with a link to the Company Information Page where you will find news and SEC filings, as well as bonds issued by the company. Should you wish to see further information, click on "See Company Information." The Options View presents you with a list of Call and Put Options.  The view is automatically defaulted to the current expiration month and provides you with the ability to view future expiration months e.g. "Show January, 2008 Options." Call options are displayed on the left and put options on the right, with current share price indicated together with available strike prices.

 

6. What types of bonds are included in the Market Data Center?

The Market Data Center provides information on Treasury & Agency Bonds, Corporate Bonds and Municipal Bonds. You can search for information on bonds by using either the quick search or an advanced search option located in the Bonds portion of the Market Data Center. Additionally, Corporate Bonds are available from the Company Information Detail Page.

 

7. What types of bonds are included in the Market Data Center, and what types of bonds are excluded from the Market Data Center?

Information is available for Corporate and Agency bonds reported to TRACE unless they are 144A/Private Placements. Also available is the information on Treasury and Municipal bonds. To learn more, please visit our TRACE Information Web page.
 

8. What bond price is illustrated at the Market Data Center?

The TRACE price reported on the Bond's portion of the Market Data Center is the "all-in price." This price includes any markup, markdown or commission.

 

9. What is the FINRA reporting symbol used throughout the Bonds Portion of the Market Data Center?

This is a FINRA proprietary symbol offered free of charge as an alternative to CUSIP numbers. Brokerage firms must have a daily license in place with Standard & Poor's CUSIP Bureau to acquire a full list of reportable bonds by CUSIP number.

 

10. Why doesn't the Market Data center show the full list of reportable CUSIPs?

FINRA does not own the CUSIP numbers and is restricted from disseminating the entire list except to holders of a daily license. The American Bankers Association has proprietary rights in and to the registered trademark CUSIP® and to the CUSIP numbers, which are administered by the Standard & Poor's CUSIP Bureau.

 

11. Can I get quotes or buy bonds from the Market Data Center?

Market Data Center reports data on executed bond trades, not bond quotes. The TRACE system has no execution capability, nor can it accept quotations.

 

12. Using the Market Data Center, how can I follow my bonds without having to input CUSIPs or FINRA symbols every day?

You can use the Watchlist to track up to 25 bonds, showing last price, price change and yield. In addition to bonds, the Watchlist also accommodates for Equities and Mutual Funds in the same display. You can retrieve your Watchlist at any time by clicking on the Watchlist in the left-hand navigation menu.

 

13. While using the Bond Search, I got the message stating: "No records found matching this search criteria." What does it mean?

When this message appears on the Bond Search Results screen, it means no bonds matched entered search criteria – try to broaden the criteria.  When this message appears on the Time & Sales Search Results screen, the bond was not trading during the time period designated.

 

14. On the Bonds portion of the Market Data Center, why isn't a yield always shown on the Bond Search Results or Time & Sales Search Results screens?

For certain bonds with unknown variables, yield is not required. For example, yield is not required for floating rate notes (FRNs), step-up or step-down bonds for which the steps are not known, Pay-in-Kind (PIK) bonds, perpetual bonds, or index-linked bonds.

 

15. On the Bonds portion of the Market Data Center, why are there no trades in the bond I'm searching for during the time period I've designated?The corporate bond market is less liquid than most markets for stocks, and there may have been no activity in the bond.

 

16. I bought bonds at 5:30 p.m. at a lower price than the one that the Market Data Center is showing as the low for the day. How can this be?

Since the Low Price figure is calculated from 8:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time, your trade was too late to be included in the Low Price figure for that day.

 

17. How can I use the Market Data Center to see what kinds of bonds might fit my investment needs and where they have been trading?

Using Advanced Bond Search, you can search by industry, maturity range, coupon and coupon type, credit rating, and a number of other criteria. Bonds matching the criteria you selected will appear in Bond Search Results. You can see the last trade information in the search results. To see full transaction information, (1) select the bond you’re interested in – this will take you to the Bond Details page for that bond, and (2) scroll down and enter search criteria for retrieving Bond Trade Activity. Remember that the trade data represents actual trades that occurred at a specific point in time and in a given size. This does not mean, however, that bonds are currently available at that price. Consult your financial professional for information about current availability and suitability for purchase. Note: Market Data Center does not disseminate trade information on 144A bonds  (Private Placements).

 

18. I have read books where they say that the cash that an investor must pay for a bond is equal to its quotation plus the accrued interest. Is this correct?

When you execute a corporate bond trade, you will confirm the transaction at an agreed upon price. However, the amount of actual dollars you will be asked to pay will be inclusive of accrued interest, and here is why: U.S. corporate bonds generally pay out two coupon payments a year, allowing the bondholder to reinvest the money every six months until maturity. The seller of the bond is entitled to receive accrued interest up until the day before the settlement date of the trade (typically, Trade Date + 3 days). So, if the bond changes hands between interest payment dates, some of the interest is due the seller and the rest is due the buyer. However, the paying agent for the issuer will send only one check for the full 6 months' worth of interest, and that will go to the holder of record on the payment date. But, since the buyer did not own the bond for the full 6 months, he pays the seller his portion of the interest up front. The buyer will then pocket the full amount of the check sent by the issuer's paying agent.

 

19. Where can I find more information about bonds and investing choices?

To find out more information about bonds, and to explore FINRA Investor Education materials, please visit the Smart Bond Investing Center.

 

20. How can I perform a search for a Mutual Fund using the Market Data Center?

In the Market Data Center, you can perform a search for a mutual fund by entering a symbol or a keyword to search for information on a specific mutual fund. The smart drop done list will provide you with possible matches. Additionally, instead of typing in a symbol or keyword(s), you may use the criteria search option (or "Screener"). To expand any selection section, click on the "+" signs. You may use one or more criteria selections for your search. If you use the screener, you are presented with search results meeting those criteria. The search results display include Net Asset Value, Total Net Assets and return information. From this list you may select any one fund by clicking on the fund name.

 

22. What mutual fund information is available at the Market Data Center?

In the Market Data Center, under the Mutual Fund Detail Page you are presented with the Objective Description, the Lipper Reader Scorecard, % Rank vs. Peers, Total Net Assets (for the last 10 years), General Information, Minimum Investment, Top 10 Holdings, Sector Allocations, Key Fund Statistics, Credit Quality Breakdown, Growth of $10,000 (displayed in customizable graph), Standardized Returns, Calendar Year Total Returns, Fund Manager, and Cumulative Descriptions.

 

23. Where can I find additional information about investing in mutual funds?

Further information about mutual funds and investment choices can be found in the Investor Education section of FINRA's website.

 

24.How can I add securities to my Watchlist?

A key feature of the Market Data Center is a customizable Watchlist allowing you to view bonds, equities and mutual funds in one display. At any time that you wish to view your existing Watchlist you may click on "Watchlist" on the left hand side of the navigation menu. You can add securities directly to your Watchlist by entering a symbol or CUSIP in the search box and clicking "Add". The Watchlist is automatically sorted by Bonds, Equities and Funds sub-categories. At any time you can sort within the security type by clicking on the hyperlinked headings (e.g. Price).

 

25. Who can I speak with to learn more about TRACE?

TRACE Data Services phone number is (888) 507-3665. However, before you call, we strongly encourage you to visit the TRACE Information Web page. There you will find historical background, rules, Frequently Asked Questions, new developments and other related information.

 

26. Where can I find the definitions of terms in the Market Data Center?

Please visit the Bond Glossary in the Market Data Center.

 

27. What is TRACE and how is it related to the Market Data Center?

TRACE is an acronym for FINRA's Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine, which captures the reported corporate and agency bond data and provides price transparency to the bond market. FINRA requires that all TRACE-eligible bond trades be reported to TRACE. To learn more, please visit the TRACE Information Web page. TRACE information is made available in real-time on the Market Data Center.

 

28. On the Bonds portion of the Market Data Center, why are there no trades in the bond I'm searching for during the time period I've designated?

The bond market is less liquid than most markets for stocks, and there may have been no activity in the bond.

 

29. What transaction information is available at the Market Data Center?

The Bond's Detail Page contains the option to search for Time & Sales Data at the Market Data Center. The Bond Trade Activity Search Results Page displays real-time market trade information for TRACE-eligible securities. This information includes execution date and time, quantity, price, and yield. You are also able to see if the price reflects that a commission was charged, whether there was any special settlement or condition that may have impacted the price, and whether the trade was reported late. For a particular trade in an investment-grade corporate bond, the actual quantity of the transaction will be shown, up to and including $5 million par (face) value. For any trade greater than $5 million, the par value will be displayed as "$5MM+." For a trade in a non-investment grade corporate bond, the actual quantity of the trade will be shown up to and including $1 million par value. For any trade greater than $1 million, the par value will be displayed as "$1MM+.