Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Bond Prices for Retail Investors ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Bond Prices for Retail Investors
Category: Business and Money > Finance
Asked by: avhfj-ga
List Price: $90.00
Posted: 14 Nov 2003 08:39 PST
Expires: 14 Dec 2003 08:39 PST
Question ID: 275822
There seem to be a zillion services which offer stock prices (real
time and closing) to the retail investor, but I haven't been able to
find one (even from my stock broker) for bond prices.  What is the
lowest cost service available to me, as a retail investor, which would
provide current and historical corporate, municpal and treasury prices
(lookup based on CUSIP number) on (a) closing price; and (b) real time

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 14 Nov 2003 10:07 PST
Funny who different the bond and stock information services are!

I know of at least one site that provides background and real time
information on corporate,municipal and treasury bonds, based on
searches by bond issuer name or CUSIP number.  A typical listing for a
corporate bond, for instance, looks like this:


Qty...Rating...Issuer.....Coupon....Maturity....Best Ofr Price/Yld/Qty   
 110  A-/A3  Dow Chem 7.000 ......08-15-2005.......108.573/1.959/110   


Clicking on the issuer name provides additional information:
Cusip    260543BK8 
Issuer    DOW CHEM CO 
Coupon    7.000 
Maturity    08-15-2005 
Listed?    No 
Industry    Industrial 
Moody's/S&P    A3/A- 
Delivery    Book Entry 
Pay Freq.    Semi-Annual 
Tax Status     
Bond Type    CORP 
Issue Date    08-18-2000 
First Coupon    02-15-2001 
Callable    Non Callable 

The site also provides a generalized, short-term, historic perspective:

Corporate Bonds
last updated: 11/14/2003 12:12:40 PM PST 
Maturity Yield...Ystdy...Last Wk...Last Month 

 2yr AA...1.98 ...  2.03  ... 2.18  ... 2.18  
 2yr A ...  2.33 ...  2.41 ..  2.61 ...  2.61  
 5yr AA .  3.43 ...  3.49 ..  3.67 ...  3.67  
 5yr A...   3.66...   3.72..   3.97...   3.97  
 10yr AA.  4.74..   4.79 ..  4.96 ...  4.96  
 10yr A  .. 4.81 ....  4.9 ..  5.09 ...  5.09  
 20yr AA .  5.92..   5.98 .  6.01 ...  6.01  
 20yr A ...  6.13 ...  6.2..   6.23 ...  6.23  

Although I've used corporate bonds as an example, equivalent
information is available on all types of bonds.


A separate site provides in-depth historical data ONLY on municipal
bonds.  The information includes trades and closing prices going back
to the year 2000.  They also provide a list of the "worst offenders"
as far as market spreads, and also have a daily e-mail service that
can update you on bond information.


There is no charge for the information service at either site.

Please let me know how closely these sites would meet your needs, and
what additional information you would need for a complete answer to
your question.



Clarification of Question by avhfj-ga on 14 Nov 2003 13:00 PST
Well the site you describe in the first part of your request looks
very close indeed to what I want.  However, I also need historical
prices (presumably closing prices) for each bond (not just the general
segments or just the municipals).  I'm looking for historical data so
that I can do correlation and regression analysis.  Can do?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 14 Nov 2003 13:39 PST
Thanks for getting back to me.

Historical information is available on munis and treasury bonds,
through separate (but easy to access) sites.

Oddly, though, the same type of information does not seem to be
available for corporate bonds.  I'm not sure why this is...and it does
seem odd...but a pretty thorough search hasn't turned up anything.

So...I can offer you history data on two out of three -- municipal and
treasury bonds, but not corporate bonds.  Perhaps this is why your
broker came up empty handed as well...the data just isn't out there!

Just to be on the safe side, I am going to unlock your question, in
case another researcher has access to historical corporate bond
information that I am not aware of.  However, if you'd like me to go
ahead and answer your question with the information I have available,
just let me know.

As a reminder, you can always adjust the price of your question, if
you wish, to reflect the fact that some of what you are asking for
does not seem to be available.

Happy Investing!


Clarification of Question by avhfj-ga on 14 Nov 2003 14:57 PST
Thanx.  I appreciate your unlocking the question.  Let me wait a day
or so to see what else turns up.  If nothing does, I'll probably go
ahead with you.  Would $90 be acceptable?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 14 Nov 2003 15:42 PST
Good idea.  I hate to see a customer get less than 100% of what
they're after, so I hope another researcher can come forward with the
information I haven't been able to locate.  But if not, let me know
if/when you want me to post the information I have...your offer of a
$90 fee strikes me as more than fair.


Clarification of Question by avhfj-ga on 15 Nov 2003 11:09 PST

Clarification of Question by avhfj-ga on 16 Nov 2003 08:24 PST
Dear Mr./Ms. Pafalafa-ga:

One thought as I was looking over your first reply to me:  You quote a
typical listing as being:

    Qty...Rating...Issuer.....Coupon....Maturity....Best Ofr Price/Yld/Qty    
    110  A-/A3  Dow Chem 7.000 ......08-15-2005.......108.573/1.959/110  


What is the significance of the "Qty" field?  Are you sure that the
site is not listing just the bonds that the web site owner has for
sale or is looking for at the time?


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 17 Nov 2003 12:18 PST
Good question:

As far as I can tell (and I admit, I'm only moderately familiar with
bond trading), the data are sort of like Level II data for stock
trading, showing the bids and offers of individual trading firms.  The
"110" quantity figure was the only available offer at the time I
checked, and referred to an offer of 110 shares x 1,000.

There also does not appear to be a single source of "bond price" data
-- different exchanges have different buyers and sellers involved, and
appear to show slightly different (but generally, similar)

Just to be clear, here is today's listing for a General Electric bond
from the site I originally mentioned to you:

(1,000s)    OFFER    YIELD         
  115      103.502  1.271   
  500      103.597  1.193    
  500      103.605  1.186   

In this case, there are offers, but no current bids, but these would
be listed as well, if any were made.


A separate site for bond information shows somewhat different data. 
For the same GE bond, for instance, the info reads like this:

Quantity Available 578  
Order Quantity 100  
Minimum 0  
Price 103.697  
Yield to Maturity 1.110  
Current Yield 4.098   


If there are particular bonds you want me to present information for,
let me know, and I'll be happy to post the information here from the
two sites, so that you can see what's available.

Hope this is helpful.  Let me know how you would like to proceed.


Clarification of Question by avhfj-ga on 18 Nov 2003 09:18 PST
Dear Mr./Ms. Pafalafa-ga:

Thanx.   Well, no one else has stepped up to the plate, so let's go
ahead at $90.  This is the first time I've used this service, so I'm
not sure what to do next.

I think your responses have been excellent.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 18 Nov 2003 10:35 PST
Thanks for the kind words, and for giving the go-ahead.

As soon as you adjust the question price, I'll be able to post an
answer.  To make the adjustment, just click on the "Edit Question
Parameters' button towards the top of the will then give you
the option to change the price.


Clarification of Question by avhfj-ga on 18 Nov 2003 12:11 PST
Subject: Re: Bond Prices for Retail Investors
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 18 Nov 2003 12:45 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello avhfj-ga,

First of all, thanks a lot for your patience and flexible attitude on
this.  It often requires some give and take to produce a good answer
to a difficult question like yours, so I?m glad you were willing to
work with me on it.

The sites that I want to bring to your attention are listed below.  If
anything about the answer here is unclear ? or if you need additional
information ? just let me know by posting a Request for Clarification,
and I?ll be happy to assist you further.

And best of luck with you investing!



The first site to note is:

There, you can register for the site (at no charge) and gain access to
their bond-trading data bases and services covering municipal,
corporate and Treasury bonds, as well as some other financial

NOTE that their site currently has a ?we are experiencing technical
difficulties? flag on the front was working fine for me just
the same, but it might be a while before you can actually log in and
use their services.

The operation of the site is pretty self explanatory ? just click on
the type of bond of interest (e.g. corporate) and type in either (a)
CUSIP number (b) Issuer name or c) screening criteria (rating,
maturity date, etc) to retrieve information on an individual bond or
on a broad list of bonds.


Next is the Yahoo! Finance Bond site at:

In the upper left hand corner is a smallish box where you can enter a
bond name or symbol (or CUSIP, even though it doesn?t say so) to
retrieve all sorts of information.

No registration is needed to use the site.

Spend some time exploring here, as they offer a lot of resources, from
a basic intro to bonds, to some sophisticated screening and
calculation tools.


The above two sites were where I drew my sample information from in
earlier postings.  Some additional sites to be aware of, especially
for historical data, are:


A terrific resource for municipal bonds is the site at (awww....go on...guess...!)

Click on any state of interest in the middle of the page to retrieve a
huge list of historical bond prices for all municipalities in the


Lastly, the US Department of Treasury maintains an information
resource site for Treasury bonds at:

Note, particularly, the section at the bottom of the screen on
?Historical Information? that offers several links to bond history


Well....that about does it.  As I said above, if you need anything
else at all, just holler, and I?m at your service.


search strategy: Used existing bookmarks for bond sites to generate
the required information.

Request for Answer Clarification by avhfj-ga on 04 Dec 2003 10:02 PST
Hi pafalafa-ga:

Sorry to be taking so long to close out this question: my birthday
party, the flu and another project have intervened.

hope to get to it soon.

Cheers, . . .   avhfj

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 04 Dec 2003 11:12 PST
Thanks for the update.  

Stay well.  Celebrate hard.  And of course, happy holidays.

Look forward to hearing back from you.

avhfj-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Truly execellent work.  Strongly recommended.

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy