Reading MBS Charts

Iā€™m trying to read the MBS charts you have been posting in the blog. What does 95-26 mean? And I see the change col, and understand the -9 is or +9. But what is ā€˜+0-26ā€™ ? If you can post a weblink to get this info, that would be great.

1 Answer

Despite being the most advanced country in the world, there are a few areas in which we have not caught up with everyone else. Our measurement system and our bond pricing conventions are two examples of that.

Government bonds are denominated in $100,000 units. However, unlike their European counterparts, United States bond prices do not move in increments based on the decimal system. Instead, they move in points and 32nds of points. For these bonds, a point is worth $1,000. Hence, the value of a bond listed as "100" is worth $100,000 and one listed at "95-0 " would be worth $95,000. When you see "95-26" it means that the bond is worth 95 points and 26/32nds of a point. Translating 26/32nds in to decimals gives us 0.8125. Thus the bond is worth 95.8125 points or $95,812.50. When you see that a bond has changed "+0-26" it means that it has increased in value by zero points and 26/32nds of a point. If the figure listed in the change column was "-0-26" it would mean that the bond decreased in value by 26/32nds of a point. The symbol in front of the first number indicates either an increase (+) or a decrease (-) and the symbol in front of the second number (-) only acts as a separator.

Hope that helps.