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Yellow Sheets


Yellow Sheets is a daily publication that provides information on the bid and ask prices of over-the-counter (OTC) corporate bonds, primarily for U.S.-based traders and financial professionals. Named after the yellow-colored paper historically used for these reports, the Yellow Sheets contain data on corporate bond prices, details of each bond’s issuer, and relevant financial news. This information is crucial for bond traders when making buying and selling decisions in the OTC market.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Yellow Sheets” is:ˈjɛloʊ ʃits

Key Takeaways

  1. Yellow Sheets is a daily publication that provides information on corporate bonds, including bid and ask prices, yields, and other financial data for securities that are issued by the United States companies.
  2. These sheets are mainly used by traders, market makers, and financial institutions for determining prices and performing transactions in the over-the-counter (OTC) bond market.
  3. As opposed to electronic quotation systems that are becoming more popular, Yellow Sheets are a traditional means of obtaining this information, but they continue to serve a vital role in the bond market for those who require comprehensive and time-sensitive data.


The term “Yellow Sheets” is important in the world of business/finance as it refers to a daily publication by the National Quotation Bureau that provides updated bid and ask prices, market makers, and information related to over-the-counter (OTC) stocks in the United States. The Yellow Sheets allow traders and investors to access crucial information about the often less-liquid and less-transparent OTC market, helping them make informed investment decisions. These sheets play a significant role in facilitating trading activity and maintaining transparency in the OTC market, which in turn, contributes to the overall functioning and efficiency of financial markets.


The Yellow Sheets serve a crucial role in the over-the-counter (OTC) fixed-income market by facilitating transparency and efficiency in trading. Primarily utilized by financial professionals, these sheets provide critical information such as current bid and ask prices, trade data, and other relevant details, enabling market participants to make informed decisions on investment opportunities. Acting as a source of reliable intelligence on corporate bonds, municipal bonds, and government agency securities, the Yellow Sheets enhance price discovery and market liquidity. Consequently, this invaluable financial tool aids traders and investors in executing transactions with confidence, thereby bolstering market stability and fostering investor trust. Moreover, since the OTC fixed-income market is characterized by its decentralized nature, the Yellow Sheets promote market organisation by centralizing pertinent data, thereby bridging the information gap between traders and investors. The dissemination of this information enables market participants to assess prevailing market conditions, evaluate the creditworthiness of issuers, and develop effective trading strategies, ultimately allowing them to navigate the complex landscape of the fixed-income market. As a result, the Yellow Sheets not only support optimal decision-making for traders and investors but also facilitate the seamless functioning of the OTC fixed-income market, thereby contributing to the overall health of the global economy.


Yellow Sheets is an informal term referring to the daily publication, “Yellow Sheets – OTC Markets”, by the National Quotation Bureau. This publication contains bid and ask prices for over-the-counter (OTC) bonds, particularly corporate bonds, municipal bonds, and government bonds that are traded in the secondary market. It is a subscription-based service primarily used by bond brokers, dealers, and institutional investors. Real-world examples illustrating the utility of Yellow Sheets are as follows: 1. Investment Management Company: An investment management company is looking to purchase municipal bonds to diversify their client’s portfolios. They use the Yellow Sheets to identify the bid and ask prices for various municipal bonds, allowing them to make more informed decisions while purchasing these bonds in the OTC market. 2. Corporate Bond Dealer: A bond dealer specializing in corporate bonds leverages the Yellow Sheets to identify the most attractive bonds for potential resale to retail and institutional investors. By staying up-to-date with the available bid and ask prices, the dealer can assess the relative value of different corporate bonds and align their inventory with market demand. 3. Financial Advisor: A financial advisor is looking to acquire government bonds on behalf of their clients, particularly U.S. Treasury bonds. They subscribe to the Yellow Sheets to gain real-time knowledge of the bid and ask prices of these bonds, allowing them to better serve their clients by identifying favorable prices and minimizing transaction costs.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What are Yellow Sheets?
Yellow Sheets are daily publications containing information about over-the-counter (OTC) market securities. They are distributed by the National Quotation Bureau (NQB) and provide bid and ask prices, market makers, and general financial details of various OTC stocks.
Who uses Yellow Sheets?
Yellow Sheets are primarily used by brokers, traders, and investors who are active in the OTC markets. These market participants rely on Yellow Sheets to understand the bid and ask prices of the securities they wish to trade, and to identify potential opportunities.
Why are they called “Yellow Sheets”?
The name “Yellow Sheets” was derived from the color of the paper on which these publications were historically printed. The yellow paper helped distinguish the OTC market publications from other financial market reports.
How are Yellow Sheets different from the Pink Sheets?
Yellow Sheets mainly focus on providing information about corporate bonds in the OTC market, while Pink Sheets primarily deal with OTC stocks that don’t meet the requirements to be listed on the major exchanges. Both publications are issued by the National Quotation Bureau and cater to different sections of the OTC market.
How can I access Yellow Sheets?
Yellow Sheets can be accessed through subscription services provided by the National Quotation Bureau or online financial data platforms. Many brokerage firms and online trading platforms also provide access to Yellow Sheets for their clients.
Are Yellow Sheets still relevant in today’s digital world?
Yes, Yellow Sheets remain relevant as they provide crucial information to market participants regarding the OTC bond market. Although the term “Yellow Sheets” was coined in a time where information was shared on physical, colored papers, these publications have evolved with technology and now are found in digital formats to meet the needs of modern investors.
How does Yellow Sheets ensure accuracy and reliability of information?
Yellow Sheets compile information from various market makers, broker-dealers, and other resources involved in OTC securities trade. While the National Quotation Bureau aims to maintain accuracy and reliability, investors should always perform additional due diligence before making investment decisions, as the OTC market has lesser regulatory oversight compared to exchange-listed securities.

Related Finance Terms

  • Pink Sheets
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) securities
  • Market Maker
  • National Quotation Bureau
  • Alternative trading systems (ATS)

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