Dow Jones Financial Spread Betting
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Dow Jones Spread Betting

Dow Jones Spread Betting

Note: Rather than being called the Dow, Dow Jones or Dow 30, in spread betting and CFD trading, the Dow is often called 'Wall Street' or the 'US 30'.

Dow Jones Prices

Indicative Dow Jones prices:

Above, indicative prices from Financial Spreads: 2,500+ live prices available to Spread Betting and CFD clients.

Stock Market Index Comparison

A stock market index comparison table covering the Dow Jones (Wall St) and other popular markets:

FTSE 100 (UK 100) Daily - Spread Size 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
FTSE 100 (UK 100) Daily - Min Stake £1 £0.50 £2 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1
FTSE 100 (UK 100) Future - Spread Size 4 4-8 6 4 3 4 4 4
FTSE 100 (UK 100) Future - Min Stake £1 £0.50 £2 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1
Dow Jones (Wall St) Daily - Spread Size 1 1 2 1 2-4 1 1 2
Dow Jones (Wall St) - Min Stake £1 £0.50 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1
DAX 30 Daily - Spread Size 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
DAX 30 Daily - Min Stake £1 £0.50 £2 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1
S&P 500 Daily - Spread Size 3 4 5 3 5 3 3 8
S&P 500 Daily - Min Stake £1 £0.50 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1^
NASDAQ 100 Future - Spread Size 3 4-10 4 3 4 3 3 4
NASDAQ 100 Future - Min Stake £1 £0.50 £4 £1 £1 £1 £1 £1
Comparison Notes.

Where Can I Spread Bet on the Dow Jones?

You can speculate on the Dow Jones, as well as the FTSE 100 and other stock market indices, with providers like:

US Stock Market Analysis and Trading News

Date Trading Update
05-Mar-15 [8:04am]

Dow Jones Daily Update

  • The Dow Jones is currently trading at 18,114.
  • In the last session, the market closed down -93pts (-0.51%) at 18,101.
30 Minute Analysis

Neutral Stock Market The stock market index is trading above the 20-period MA of 18,104.0 and below the 50-period MA of 18,114.8.

1 Day Analysis

Rising Stock Market The stock market index is trading above the 20-DMA of 18,051.2 and above the 50-DMA of 17,796.5.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
05-Mar-15 [7:49am] Dow Jones Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
  • Dow Jones pivot point: 18200
  • Our preference: Short positions below 18200 with targets @ 17980 & 17940 in extension.
  • Alternative scenario: Above 18200 look for further upside with 18270 & 18310 as targets.
Comment: As long as 18200 is resistance, look for choppy price action with a bearish bias.

Update by CMC Markets
05-Mar-15 [7:47am] US indices fell on Wednesday pressured by shares in the Telecommunication Services, Real Estate and Capital Goods sectors.

The S&P 500 (2098.53) remains above its 20 DMA (2090.7 - positive slope), and 50 DMA (2061.6 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a negative note.

Update by InterTrader
05-Mar-15 [7:47am] American Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
  • Cameron Int (CAM +4.04% to $48.1)
  • Devon Energy (DVN +1% to $61.86)
  • HCA (HCA +5.85% to $74.93)
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL +0.92% to $80.39)
  • Teradata (TDC +1.34% to $44.64)

American Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
  • Ace Ltd (ACE -1.08% to $112.6)
  • AES Corporation (AES -1.92% to $12.75)
  • Boston Properties (BXP -1.05% to $137.3)
  • CarMax (KMX -4.01% to $64.69)
  • Essex Property Trust (ESS -1.01% to $221.24)
  • Fedex (FDX -0.87% to $174.62)
  • Flir Systems (FLIR -2.87% to $31.79)
  • Franklin Resources (BEN -0.95% to $53.33)
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT -1.85% to $26.57)
  • Harley Davidson (HOG -2.04% to $62.84)
  • Loews Corp (L -0.83% to $40.66)
  • Marsh & McLennan (MMC -0.98% to $56.45)
  • Moody's (MCO -1.11% to $95.07)
  • Owens-Illinois (OI -2.75% to $25.11)
  • Pentair (PNR -2.25% to $64.39)
  • Progressive (PGR -1.38% to $26.42)
  • Raytheon (RTN -1.31% to $106.77)
  • Red Hat (RHT -1.91% to $67.19)
  • Spectra Energy (SE -0.93% to $34.99)
  • The Hartford (HIG -1.33% to $40.7)
  • Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA -1.88% to $34.97)
  • United Rentals (URI -2.09% to $92.34)
  • Xilinx (XLNX -1.35% to $41.05)
  • Xylem (XYL -1.14% to $35.69)

Update by InterTrader
05-Mar-15 [5:45am] European equities are set to open mixed this morning as traders move to the sidelines ahead of today's European Central Bank meeting.

The ECB is set to unleash quantitative easing but it's not a done deal that the day will belong to the bulls, because sentiment will be decided by the details.

There was a lot of forward guidance leading up to the actual announcement of QE, so there's been plenty of time to price it in.

Traders will be trying to determine the scale and possible effectiveness of the ECB's programme.

Bulls will be hoping that the programme is an open-ended affair that carries on well beyond September 2016, but with some economic data already picking up, the bears may seize on any caveats that indicate the programme could end before that date.

By and large last night's Federal Reserve's Beige Book showed the US economy continued to expand, mainly due to higher spending and manufacturing.

However, the private data on Nonfarm Payrolls indicated that companies added fewer workers than previously estimated.

The Dow Jones dropped for the second day in a row, losing 95 points to 18,102.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
05-Mar-15 [3:49am] The Dow Jones futures market closed lower on Wednesday as it consolidated some of this week's rally. The low-range close sets the stage for a steady opening on Thursday. Stochastics and the RSI are neutral-to-bullish signalling that sideways-to-higher prices are possible near-term. Closes above last Thursday's high crossing would temper the near-term bearish outlook. If the Dow renews the decline off March's high, the 50% retracement level of the February-March rally crossing is the next downside target.

Update by PipTrade
04-Mar-15 [4:29pm] Across the pond the Dow Jones is firmly in the red as the ADP employment missed estimates and dropped to its slowest pace since August 2014.

The US equity market registered a record closing level this week and traders were looking for an excuse to lock in profits ahead of the non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

Shares in Abercrombie & Fitch have tumbled after the company registered a double-digit drop in same-store sales; the drop in revenue was particularly painful.

Fellow teen retail American Eagle Outfitters topped analysts by announcing flat like-for-like sales in the final quarter of 2014.

The fact that flat sales impressed investors says a lot about the retail industry.

Alibaba's shares are off their all-time low after the e-commerce company announced its plans to buy a stake in a Chinese TV producer.

The move is part of the company's plans to expand into the entertainment industry.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
04-Mar-15 [11:02am] US stocks look like edging lower at the open as global growth concerns re-emerge after a round of unimpressive service sector PMIs in Europe and China.

There is some degree of trepidation ahead of a multitude of important US data releases including ISM, unemployment and oil inventories.

Today's ADP will be the first clue as to what Friday could hold.

ADP private sector payrolls are expected to pick up from 213k to 219k.

ISM Non-manufacturing PMI data is expected to moderate slightly to 56.5 in February from 56.7 in January.

This week another record US oil stockpile is expected with an additional 4.0m barrels added to inventories.

Oil prices actually closed the day higher after last week's oil inventories data in a sign that the stocks build up is beginning to get priced in.

The day following last week's inventory data oil prices tanked again and the WTI contract only just closed above $50 again for the first time yesterday.

TiVo shares are expected to jump higher on the open after reporting better than expected fourth quarter earnings.

Outside of the major benchmarks, shareholders of Alibaba were showing unease as shares dropped to as low as $80, the lowest since its IPO in September last year.

The Taiwan Investment Commission has ordered the Chinese online retail giant to withdraw from the country for hiding its Chinese ownership.

The accusation from Taiwan goes to the heart of investors' concern over Alibaba's opaque ownership structure and comes not long after the firm missed revenue estimates in the third quarter.

The complicated ownership and question marks over Chinese accounting standards require robust earnings growth to compensate.

Missed earnings in Q3 don't meet that requirement and shares are suffering as a result.

Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, PetSmart and H&R Block report earnings on Wednesday

Futures suggest that the S&P 500 will open 7 points lower at 2,100 with the Dow Jones expected to open 55 points lower at 18,148 and the NASDAQ 100 14 points lower at 4,444.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
04-Mar-15 [9:56am]

US Equities Drift in the Run Up to the Nonfarm Payrolls

US stock markets fell back from all-time highs as Cisco and Microsoft weighed on the Dow Jones and the NASDAQ.

ITV shares have rallied by 4.08% to 34p after releasing positive results and looking to post a £250m special dividend.

Update by Sam Gunter, Sales Trader, ETX Capital
04-Mar-15 [9:32am] As the week's economic data releases ramp up to Friday's important non-farm payrolls report, US equity markets appear to have lost a little of their confidence and moved into a risk-off mindset.

The NASDAQ's move back above 5000 was short-lived and looks to have brought back memories of the over-hyped tech bubble days rather than visions of a new dawn.

This afternoon will see the release of ADP private payroll report, sometimes viewed as an indicator to Friday's figures but as often as not more of a red herring.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 58 points lower at 18,145.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
04-Mar-15 [7:44am] Dow Jones Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
  • Dow Jones pivot point: 18270
  • Our preference: Short positions below 18270 with targets @ 18120 & 18030 in extension.
  • Alternative scenario: Above 18270 look for further upside with 18310 & 18365 as targets.
Comment: As long as 18270 is resistance, look for choppy price action with a bearish bias.

Update by CMC Markets
04-Mar-15 [7:40am] US indices declined on Tuesday pressured by shares in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment, Automobiles & Components and Transportation sectors.

The S&P 500 (2107.78) remains above its 20 DMA (2088.3 - positive slope), and 50 DMA (2060.9 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to open on a positive note.

Update by InterTrader
04-Mar-15 [7:40am] American Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
  • AES Corporation (AES +2.77% to $13)
  • Anadarko Petroleum (APC +0.93% to $82.78)
  • Gap (GPS +1.38% to $41.98)
  • Loews Corp (L +1.01% to $41)
  • Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI +2.25% to $74.07)
  • Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA +1.38% to $35.64)

American Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
  • Cameron Int (CAM -1.22% to $46.23)
  • Carnival (CCL -1.11% to $44.69)
  • Eli Lilly (LLY -1.05% to $70.37)
  • EMC Corp (EMC -1.7% to $28.39)
  • General Dynamics (GD -1.94% to $137.09)
  • H&R Block (HRB -1.4% to $33.71)
  • HCA (HCA -1.67% to $70.79)
  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.85% to $102.34)
  • Monsanto (MON -0.91% to $120.2)
  • Mylan (MYL -4.24% to $55.435)
  • Oracle (ORCL -1.48% to $43.38)
  • Qualcomm (QCOM -1.72% to $71.405)
  • Stryker (SYK -3.72% to $92.44)
  • Teradata (TDC -2.02% to $44.05)
  • Union Pacific (UNP -1.9% to $118.46)
  • Western Digital (WDC -2.95% to $105.57)

Update by InterTrader
04-Mar-15 [5:26am] Having come full circle from its previous peaks 15 years ago the NASDAQ Composite was unable to sustain its gains above the 5,000 level and subsequently slipped back, dragging the other US benchmarks with it.

In a new month, a new week and new records, profit taking appeared to be the order of the day yesterday, as not only US markets slipped back, but so did the German DAX and the FTSE 100, as a lack of new factors pulled markets down from their highs.

This week's record highs appear to have brought back some unpleasant memories of when the NASDAQ was last at the 5,000 level.

On a day when we found out that US markets have been driven higher by record levels of companies buying back their own stock, it appears that investors have decided that taking some profit could well be prudent in a week that could see some disappointment from this week's economic surveys and employment reports.

US Employment

Concerns about a slowdown in the US continue to gnaw away at the ability of US markets to push significantly higher in the short term.

While today's February ADP employment report could well be a leading indicator of Friday's payrolls report, investors are likely to be more interested in the services ISM number and the Beige Book of economic conditions, given recent patchy manufacturing data.

The ADP number is expected to see 218k new jobs added in February, a slight increase on the 213k added in January, while the ISM non-manufacturing index is expected to see a slight decrease to 56.5 from 56.7.

Of particular interest will be the prices component given how weak this week's manufacturing prices paid component was.

Later in the day the Federal Reserve gives its regional account of economic activity in the regions in the form of its Beige Book of economic conditions, and any significant change of tone here could well augur badly with respect to the timing or otherwise of any potential move in Fed policy.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets

» For more see Stock Market Trading News & Analysis.

Readers please note:

Where Can I Find Live Spread Betting Prices and Charts for the Dow Jones?

We do show indicative Dow Jones spread betting prices, please see above.

The CFD chart below also offers readers a helpful look at the US stock market index.

The Plus500 chart above is usually based on the Dow Jones futures contract (not the daily market).

If you want to check live spread betting prices and charts for the Dow, you may need a financial spread betting account.

A spreads account would also let you speculate on short-term daily Dow Jones markets. Users should note that accounts are normally subject to suitability, credit and status checks.

Should your application be approved then you can log on and study the charts and the current prices. These are normally free. Having said that, you might get the occasional sales letter or email from the spread trading company.

Of course, if you do trade then, before starting, you should note that CFD trading and financial spread trading carry a high degree of risk to your funds and can result in losses that are greater than your initial investment.

Advanced Charts for the Dow Jones

Although charting software/packages can vary across the industry, to help your analysis of the Dow Jones, they often come with useful tools like:
  • Drawing features and options e.g. Trendlines, Fibonacci Arcs, Fans and Time Zones
  • Different display options e.g. candlestick charts and bar charts
  • A host of different time periods e.g. 1 minute, 3 minute, 5 minute, 15 minute, 1 hour, 1 day etc.

Charts on the Financial Spreads platform also include advanced features like:
  • BackTesting, Custom Indicators and Optimisation functions
  • Helpful overlays e.g. Ichimoku Clouds, Parabolic SAR, EMA, Envelopes etc.
  • Technical indicators e.g. Williams %R, True Strength (TSI), Chaikin's Volatility, Aroon, Forecast Oscillator, Price and Volume Trend, Linear Regression etc.
  • Automatic email notifications that trigger when a market hits a pre-set level

Sample Dow Jones chart from Financial Spreads

Dow Jones Trading Guide - Example Chart

The following financial spread betting firms give account holders access to real time trading prices and charts:

Dow Jones Index Commitments of Traders Report - 24 Feb 2015 (i)

Futures Only Positions, CBT , Code 124603, (DJIA Index x $5) (i)

Reporting Firms (i) Non-Reportable Positions (i)
Non-Commercial (i)
Commercial (i) Total Reportable (i)
Commitments (i) Open (i) Interest Commitments
Long (i) Short (i) Spreads (i) Long Short Long Short Long Short
39,445 18,399 318 55,493 86,366 95,256 105,083 116,331 21,075 11,248
Changes from 17 Feb 2015 (i) Change in (i) Open Interest Changes from
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short Long Short
-2,371 1,320 145 2,351 -941 125 524 101 -24 -423
Percent of Open Interest for Each Category of Trader
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short   Long Short
33.9% 15.8% 0.3% 47.7% 74.2% 81.9% 90.3%   18.1% 9.7%
Number of Traders in Each Category (i) Total (i) Traders  
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short    
26 18 5 34 23 63 43 95    
Long/Short Commitments Ratios (i)   Long/Short Ratio
Ratio   Ratio Ratio   Ratio
2.1:1   1:1.6 1:1.1   1.9:1
Net Commitment Change (i)  

Also see:

Spread Betting on Individual Dow Jones Companies

Simply click on the company you're interested in spread betting on. As well as indicative prices and charts, we talk you through the most popular spread betting questions on that Dow 30 company:
  • Where can I spread bet?
  • How to spread bet on that American company?
  • Where can I trade commission free?
  • Etc
Company Name Symbol Dow Jones Stocks
Spread Betting Guides »
Charts &
3M MMM 3M Spread Betting MMM Charts & Prices
Alcoa AA Alcoa Spread Betting AA Charts & Prices
American Express AXP American Express Spread Betting AXP Charts & Prices
AT&T T AT&T Spread Betting T Charts & Prices
Bank of America BAC Bank of America Spread Betting BAC Charts & Prices
Boeing BA Boeing Spread Betting BA Charts & Prices
Caterpillar CAT Caterpillar Spread Betting CAT Charts & Prices
Chevron CVX Chevron Spread Betting CVX Charts & Prices
Cisco CSCO Cisco Spread Betting CSCO Charts & Prices
Coca Cola CCE Coca Cola Spread Betting CCE Charts & Prices
Du Pont DD Du Pont Spread Betting DD Charts & Prices
Exxon Mobil XOM Exxon Mobil Spread Betting XOM Charts & Prices
General Electric GE General Electric Spread Betting GE Charts & Prices
Hewlett Packard HPQ Hewlett Packard Spread Betting HPQ Charts & Prices
Home Depot HD Home Depot Spread Betting HD Charts & Prices
IBM IBM IBM Spread Betting IBM Charts & Prices
Intel INTC Intel Spread Betting INTC Charts & Prices
Johnson and Johnson JNJ Johnson and Johnson Spread Betting JNJ Charts & Prices
JPMorgan Chase JPM JPMorgan Chase Spread Betting JPM Charts & Prices
McDonalds MCD McDonalds Spread Betting MCD Charts & Prices
Merck MRK Merck Spread Betting MRK Charts & Prices
Microsoft MSFT Microsoft Spread Betting MSFT Charts & Prices
Pfizer PFE Pfizer Spread Betting PFE Charts & Prices
Procter and Gamble PG Procter and Gamble Spread Betting PG Charts & Prices
Travelers TRV Travelers Spread Betting TRV Charts & Prices
United Technologies UTX United Technologies Spread Betting UTX Charts & Prices
UnitedHealth UNH UnitedHealth Spread Betting UNH Charts & Prices
Verizon VZ Verizon Spread Betting VZ Charts & Prices
Wal-Mart WMT Wal-Mart Spread Betting WMT Charts & Prices
Walt Disney DIS Walt Disney Spread Betting DIS Charts & Prices

Individual Shares Spread Betting Guides

For more individual equities guides, also see:

Financial Spreads » "With you get all the normal
advantages of Spread Betting plus..." » read Financial Spreads review.

About the Dow Jones

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, often referred to as the Dow, Dow 30 or Dow Jones, is one of the world's most well known markets.

The Dow represents a selection of thirty of the biggest American public companies. It's used to measure the performance of these corporations whilst also reflecting the state of the American economy and, to a degree, the world economy.

In spread betting and CFD trading, rather than being called the Dow, Dow Jones or Dow 30 it is often called 'Wall Street' or the 'US 30'.

Dow Jones Spread Betting: Firms with High Share Prices are the Most Important

If you want to profit from trading the FTSE 100, the biggest corporations are the most important. Because of the way the FTSE 100 index is weighted, movements in the share prices of the largest corporations affect the FTSE 100 index more than price movements in the shares of smaller companies.

Trading the Dow Jones However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is not 'price weighted'. This means that a one point increase or decrease by any share in the index will have the same effect as a one point increase or decrease of any other share.

As of April 2012, share prices on the DJIA range from around $8-9 (Bank of America and Alcoa) to almost $210 (IBM).

So, a 10% shift in IBM's share price (around $21) would account for a large movement in the Dow Jones index (around 160 points).

However, a 10% shift in Bank of America's share price (around $0.90) would only lead to a very small change in the Dow Jones (around 7 points). This isn't because IBM is a bigger corporation, it is because IBM's share price is much higher.

The other high value shares to watch out for in the Dow Jones are, as of April 2012, Caterpillar, Chevron and McDonalds.

Dow Jones Stock Market Index: Different Trading Times

The Dow is based on Wall Street however, not all 30 companies that make up the DJIA are based on America's East coast.

So, when the Dow Jones opens for trading, the value is determined only by the relatively few companies that open first. The opening price on the Dow will therefore always be close to the previous day's closing price.

As a result, the Dow Jones will never accurately reflect the true opening prices of all its companies.

If you are looking to trade on the Dow Jones, you need to be very careful when you open your position. Whilst the FTSE 100 might 'hit the ground running' with all companies opening at the same time, the Dow Jones doesn't work in the same way. Investors should monitor opening and closing prices so they can be confident of opening a position at the right time.

Dow Jones Spread Betting: Know the Shares

One of the advantages of trading the Dow Jones is that there are only 30 corporations in the index. Therefore it's easier to keep an eye on each of the component companies and what's happening to their share price.

Some traders believe that it is good practice to have a number of shares that you regularly follow. The aim of this is to get to know these shares and become familiar with their price movements.

Keeping tabs on all FTSE 100 companies is tough, it's hard to know exactly what is happening to all the shares at any given time. However, watching 30 Dow Jones stocks is more manageable. You can get to know each company's typical share movements and that can help you forecast where the Dow Jones will head next.
Advert: Dow Jones Spread Betting, sponsored by
You can spread bet on the Dow Jones with Financial Spreads.

Where Can I Spread Bet on the Dow Jones for Free?

Speculating on the stock market always comes with a degree of risk. However, if you would like to use a Demo Account, that allows you to practice spread betting on a wide range of markets, please see below for further details.

When you think about which investment option is right for you, don't forget that, in the UK, financial spread betting is currently tax free*.

If you are trying to find a low cost financial spread betting website then keep in mind that you can trade the Dow Jones without having to pay any commissions or brokers' fees through companies such as:

Free Demo Account

If you would like to use a Demo Account where you are able to try out online spread betting, and speculating on markets like GBP/USD, gold, the FTSE 100 and the Dow Jones, then look at: Each of the spread betting companies listed above offer a Test Account which lets users apply a range of trading orders, test new trading ideas and review stock market charts.

How to Spread Bet on the Dow Jones

How to Spread Bet on the Dow Jones?

As with a wide variety of financial markets, investors can spread bet on indices, like the Dow Jones, to either rise or fall.

If you go to the Financial Spreads platform, you can see that they have priced the Dow Jones Rolling Daily market at 13343.0 - 13345.0. This means that an investor could put a spread bet on the Dow Jones index:

  Dow Jones Spread Betting Example Moving above 13345.0, or
  Dow Jones Trading Example Moving below 13343.0

When you spread bet on the Dow Jones index you trade in £x per point, where a point is one point of the index itself. As a result, if you invested £4 per point and the Dow Jones moves 26 points then that would be a difference to your profit/loss of £104. £4 per point x 26 points = £104.

Rolling Daily Indices Markets

This is a Rolling Daily Market which means that there is no set settlement date for this market. You do not have to close your position, should it still be open at the end of the trading day, it simply rolls over to the next trading day.

If you do let your position roll over into the next day and are spread betting on the market to:

  Dow Jones Trading Example Go higher - then you are charged a small overnight financing fee, or
  Dow Jones Trading Example Go lower - then a small payment is normally credited to your account

For more information see Rolling Daily Spread Betting.

Dow Jones Index - Rolling Daily Trading Example

Now, if you think about the spread of 13343.0 - 13345.0 and assume that:
  • You have analysed the indices markets, and
  • You think that the Dow Jones index will increase and move above 13345.0
Then you may go long of the market at 13345.0 and invest, for example, £5 per point.

Therefore, with this trade you make a profit of £5 for every point that the Dow Jones index moves higher than 13345.0. However, it also means you will lose £5 for every point that the Dow Jones market moves below 13345.0.

Considering this from another angle, if you were to buy a spread bet then your P&L is worked out by taking the difference between the final price of the market and the initial price you bought the spread at. You then multiply that price difference by the stake.

Therefore, if after a few days the US stock market moved higher then you might think about closing your trade and guaranteeing your profits.

Taking this a step further, if the stock market did go up then the spread might change to 13380.4 - 13382.4. You would close your spread bet by selling at 13380.4. As a result, with the same £5 stake your profit would be calculated as:

P&L = (Closing Price - Initial Price) x stake
P&L = (13380.4 - 13345.0) x £5 per point stake
P&L = 35.4 x £5 per point stake
P&L = £177.00 profit

Trading the American stock market is not simple. In the above example, you had bet that the US index would rise. Of course, the stock market can fall.

If, contrary to your expectations, the Dow Jones fell, then you might decide to close your trade to stop any further losses.

So if the spread pulled back to 13313.1 - 13315.1 you would close your position by selling at 13313.1. This would result in a loss of:

P&L = (Closing Price - Initial Price) x stake
P&L = (13313.1 - 13345.0) x £5 per point stake
P&L = -31.9 x £5 per point stake
P&L = -£159.50 loss

Note - Dow Jones Rolling Daily spread quoted as of 11-Sep-12.

How to Trade Dow Futures

How to Trade Dow Futures

Looking at a site like InterTrader, we can see they are currently offering the Dow Jones December Futures market at 13408 - 13414. This means an investor could speculate on the Dow Jones index:

  Dow Jones Futures Trading Example Closing above 13414, or
  Dow Jones Futures Trading Example Closing below 13408

On the expiry date for this 'December' market, 21-Dec-12.

As with the daily market above, you trade the Dow Futures in £x per point. So if your stake is £5 per point and the Dow moves 27 points then that would make a difference to your profits (or losses) of £135. £5 per point x 27 points = £135.

Dow Jones Futures Trading Example

If we take the above spread of 13408 - 13414 and make the assumptions that:
  • You have done your analysis of the American futures market, and
  • Your analysis suggests the US index will settle above 13414 by 21-Dec-12
Then you could decide to buy the market at 13414 and risk, for the sake of argument, £2 per point.

With this contract you make a gain of £2 for every point that the US index moves higher than 13414. Nevertheless, you will make a loss of £2 for every point that the Dow Jones market goes lower than 13414.

Put another way, with spread trading, your profits (or losses) are worked out by taking the difference between the closing price of the market and the price you bought the market at. You then multiply that price difference by the stake.

So, if on the expiry date, the Dow Jones closed at 13488, then:

Profit / loss = (Closing Value - Opening Value) x stake
Profit / loss = (13488 - 13414) x £2 per point stake
Profit / loss = 74 x £2 per point stake
Profit / loss = £148 profit

Of course trading the American stock market futures is rarely that straightforward. In the above example, you wanted the Dow to rise. Of course, the stock market index could fall.

If the futures had fallen and settled at 13334 on the expiry date, then you would end up losing this trade.

Profit / loss = (Closing Value - Opening Value) x stake
Profit / loss = (13334 - 13414) x £2 per point stake
Profit / loss = -80 x £2 per point stake
Profit / loss = -£160 loss

Note - Dow Jones December Futures market taken as of 27-Sep-12.

Risk Management: Spread Betting on the US Stock Market with a Stop Loss

You can put a limit on the size of your position to help reduce your potential losses without impacting your upside. You can also employ smaller stake sizes such as £1 per point or $1 per point.

Letís say you spread bet on the Dow to go up, with a £1 per point stake and attach a Stop Loss order to your trade. If the US stock market goes up by 120 points then you would make 120 points x £1 per point = £120.

You are also able to trade the markets in Euros and Dollars. If you want to trade in dollars then 120 points x $1 per point = $120.

Of course if the market went against you, dropping by say 90 points, then with a £1 stake you would lose 90 points x £1 per point = £90.

Obviously this would be a fairly poor start. However, with firms like Financial Spreads you can add a Stop Loss at let's say, 30 points.

If you were trading the Dow this would mean that your position would be closed if the US index moved against you by 30 points. Therefore, instead of losing £90, you'd only lose 30 points x £1 per point = £30.

However, assuming you correctly predicted the direction of the market, your upside would still be £120.

Note that Stop Losses are not guaranteed, if a market slips then your Stop Loss is closed out at the next traded price. If you donít want that risk then you can use a Guaranteed Stop Loss, these are guaranteed to close your trade even if the underlying market slips (gaps).

A number of firms like Financial Spreads, InterTrader and Capital Spreads automatically apply a Stop Loss to every trade. You can upgrade to a Guaranteed Stop Loss but that normally comes at a small premium (normally a wider spread).

Advert: Dow Jones Spread Betting, sponsored by
You can spread bet on the Dow Jones with Financial Spreads.

Trading Risk Warning
'Dow Jones Spread Betting' edited by Jacob Wood, updated 05-Mar-15

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