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Bloomberg Terminal: Bloomberg Basics

How Do I Use Bloomberg?

The Business Center's Bloomberg terminal relies on three key types - black keys, yellow keys and green keys (other key types do not function on our terminal). You can use the black keys to write names, words and numbers for a search through the help box. Yellow keys will provide you with a specific market sector. The green keys are action keys, which will command the Bloomberg terminal to retrieve the data you are requesting; return to a previous menu; or request help. 

Using the search engine

There are two ways to search for data on Bloomberg. The first way is writing keywords in the search engine at the top left of the Bloomberg terminal screen. Bloomberg will autosuggest search terms. You can select the search term that reflects the data you want. 

Writing syntax

The second way to find information is to use Bloomberg's syntax to write a command. Bloomberg uses two or three letter codes, called mnemonics, to represent names, countries, securities types, and other forms of data. You can use a combination of mnemonics and Bloomberg's specialized color keys to write a command for the Bloomberg terminal to follow. 

Let's use an example. Amazon's stock symbol on the New York Stock Exchange is AMZN. The NYSE, where Amazon stock mostly trades, is in the United States. Bloomberg uses two-letter mnemonics to represent countries across the globe. Amazon's stock is a corporate equity. If you type AMZN, and then US, and then press the yellow EQUITY key, and then the green GO key, Bloomberg will go to the main page for data on Amazon's common stock. By writing this command, you are asking Bloomberg to pull up data for the security which trades with the  symbol AMZN on US markets, and is a common stock. 

AMZN US EQUITY GO is a command in Bloomberg's syntax. Knowing the various mnemonics and specialized Bloomberg keys (in different colors) makes finding data easier. To find a mnemonic quickly, type in a name or phrase in the search box on the top left of the screen. Bloomberg will autosuggest words with the corresponding mnemonic, when there is one. 

Market Sectors (The Yellow Keys)

Use Bloomberg's function keys (in yellow), on the top row of the Bloomberg terminal's keyboard, for quick access to market sector data. If you are familiar with Bloomberg's syntax, you can also use the yellow keys to write a command, specifying and equity or market sector type (see How do I use Bloomberg?, above). 

Commands on Bloomberg (The Green Keys)

Green keys execute commands on Bloomberg terminals. If you are writing a command using Bloomberg's syntax (read How Do I Use Bloomberg? above), pressing the GO button will execute the command. Pressing the MENU key will return you to the previous screen. Pressing the HELP key will provide information on the screen you are seeing. 

Please note that some of the green action keys, such as the PRINT key, do not work on our Bloomberg terminals. 

Popular mnemonics on Bloomberg

ANR - analysts' recommendations

CF - company regulatory filings

CN - company news

COMP - compares the returns of a selected security to its benchmark index and industry group (if available) or to two other selected securities.

CRPR - corporate bond ratings

DES - standard equity description/summary

DVD - dividend and split summary

FA - financial analysis

FL - fund lookup

GP - price graph with volume

HP - historical stock prices

NEWS - general global news

QR - trade recap

TRA - total return analysis


External Resources