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.

Uncertain future
Uncertain future
The next series of the ABX is slated for January. But since subprime securitization has practically dried up since the summer, there is some uncertainty over whether a series will be issued next year.

"As it stands now, there aren't 20 bonds that would qualify to be in the next index - and it doesn't look like there are that many more that are going to be issued," Dan Castro, managing director at GSC Group, said.

Even if the ABX starts to track fewer - or smaller - deals, some market participants say the index is already becoming irrelevant now that the surge in subprime lending has ended.

The ABX

Hedging a bet

What's in a name

More drama

On the horizon
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.