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Bloomberg offers numerous functions for monitoring the equity markets (as well as all other markets.) Which function you prefer is largely a matter of personal preference, and will depend on which layout strikes you as best, precisely what markets you are tracking, and how granular you want to get. One common screen for looking at equity market performance is the World Equity Index function, accessed by typing <WEI> into the Bloomberg. This screen provides updates for 21 major world indexes, and shows current value and daily change, as well as year to date (YTD) performance. The function also offers the ability to drill down deeper in order to view additional exchanges in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

World Equity Market Index Monitor <WEI>

If you are interested in following a single security instead of broader market averages, you can still find what you are looking for in Bloomberg. One good function is accessed by typing <BQ> into the terminal. This function provides in-depth information on a security, including price, daily change, volume, time and sales information, and a comparison of price action relative to a company's peers.

Detailed Stock Quote Function <BQ>

Experienced stock traders know that some of the biggest market movements come following earnings announcements. Generally speaking, the key is not the number itself, but rather how earnings come in relative to advanced estimates. Bloomberg makes it easy to track earnings estimates, as simply typing <ERN> into the terminal provides a snapshot page of earnings estimates. This page provides prior years' actual earnings, as well as estimates for upcoming quarters.

SEE: Surprising Earnings Results

Earnings Estmate Function <ERN>

Just as earnings announcements have the ability to move markets, so too do changes in analyst recommendations. Bloomberg provides a function that tracks analysts from major brokerage firms. This function provides the firm, the analysts name, the recommendation (i.e. buy, sell, outperform), target price and the date of the most recent recommendation.

Analyst Recommendation Function <ANR>

Users interested in analyzing and trading options will find that Bloomberg offers a robust suite of option analytics and trading tools. A full analysis of these tools is beyond the scope of this article, and users will find that hands-on experimentation is the best way to develop an understanding of Bloomberg's option tools. However, the page below provides a snapshot of the basic options overview page on Bloomberg. This function allows users to see what options are available for a particular security (in this case Microsoft stock) sorted by maturity date and strike price. The page also displays recent bid and ask price information, as well as the last trade price, and daily volume. This information is displayed for both calls and puts and is available for both traditional options and LEAPS.

Option Overview Function <OMON>

SEE: Options Basics

Next: Advanced Guide To The Bloomberg Terminal: Bond Market Functions »

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