This is my first post to this forum. I want to calculate security returns , so therefore, I have downloaded the PX last price from Bloomberg. My question is: What is PX last in Bloomberg? Is this Adjusted closing price of a security?
What is px_last is rather complex and will depends on the terminal options installed where you downloaded it. Type DPDF to see what are your settings. You can adjust closing price to account for Splits/Spin offs (and many other things) or not, adjust to account for dividends or not. If you are downloading this data through the api (say excel), you can manually overrides all those fields. Hope it helps
If you are interested in a Total Return Index, rather than a Price, you could also let Bloomberg compute it for you by retrieving the field TOT_RETURN_INDEX_NET_DVDS (instead of PX_LAST). An advantage of this is you do not have to worry about the details of return calculation (let Bloomberg handle it, they can do it more accurately than other people) and possibly you make your code more readable as it is independent of DPDF settings. (I prefer to leave those settings to their default values).
In general, "PX_LAST" is the last traded price for a security. This updates when you set up the BDP/BDH formula and when you refresh the workbook. If you want a live, streaming, price, use "LAST_PRICE".
As mentioned above, the DPDF settings will affect corporate actions adjustments for equities when looking at price history.