Behind Wall Street's subprime fear index

The formerly obscure ABX index has become a closely watched gauge of just how bad the market for subprime securities is getting.

How to read the ABX
How to read the ABX
The ABX has five separate indices based on the rating of the underlying subprime securities, ranging from AAA to BBB-minus. A new series is issued every six months to reflect the 20 largest current deals.

For instance, the inelegantly-named ABX-HE-A 07-2 tracks bonds with a rating of BBB issued in the first half of 2007.

The index prices are updated by Markit at


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