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
17-Sep-14 [11:21am] In the US, the S&P is currently seen opening 1 point higher, the Dow 15 points higher and the NASDAQ unchanged.

Update by Craig Erlam, Market Analyst, Alpari
17-Sep-14 [10:40am]

Dow Jones Daily Market Analysis

  • The Dow Jones is currently trading at 17,139.
  • In the last session, the market closed up 108pts (0.63%) at 17,143.
30 Minute Chart Analysis

Rising Stock Market The stock index is above the 20-period moving average of 17,132.1 and above the 50-period moving average of 17,100.3.

1 Day Chart Analysis

Rising Stock Market The stock market index is currently above the 20-day moving average of 17,078.9 and above the 50-day moving average of 16,907.1.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
17-Sep-14 [10:28am] Dow Exhausted After Triple Digit Rally

Stocks in the US are looking relatively flat heading into the open with investors having exhausted bullish enthusiasm for now after yesterday’s triple digit rally put the Dow at a new intraday all-time high; investors are now sitting on their hands ahead of the release of inflation data and the latest Fed decision.

Futures suggest the Dow Jones will open 10 points higher at 17,141 with the S&P500 expected to open 1 point higher at 1,999 and the NASDAQ 100 4 points lower at 4,063.

It’s all about the Fed

The Wall St Journal reporter Jon Hilsenrath said in a webcast that he believed the central bank wouldn't alter its “considerable period time” language in its policy statement on Wednesday afternoon. He is known for his close ties and insider knowledge of the Fed.

A potential change in forward guidance was a major cause of the recent consolidation in US stock markets so if there is no change in policy language; it could trigger the next leg higher in the bull market.

The US consumer price index is expected to fall back to 1.9% while core prices are expected to remain flat at 1.9%.

The Fed and its Chair Janet Yellen have been taking a more neutral stance as of late and there has been one dissent to the use of the language “extended period of time” but this meeting may not prove to the one where the Fed need to make any bold changes.

The unemployment rate slipped back in August and only 142K jobs were created, industrial production weakened and if today’s inflation data shows a moderation then the pressure on the Fed to get more hawkish should if anything be abating.

There are other ways the Fed can enhance a more neutral stance though, the most obvious would be an increase in the forecasts for the level of the fed funds rate by year end of 2015, 2016 and now 2017.

The Fed could change some other language for example cut the drop the “significant underutilization of labor resources”, it could provide an update on an “exit strategy” for how it will end QE and Janet Yellen may also choose to tone down her dovish rhetoric in the press conference.

FedEx and General Mills report earnings today before the open.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
17-Sep-14 [8:04am]

What a difference a day makes!

We are seeing some big moves in the stock markets and the forex markets.

Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development, CMC Markets
17-Sep-14 [7:42am] American Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
  • AGL Resources (GAS +0.88% to $53.01)
  • Allegheny Technologies (ATI +1.2% to $42.23)
  • American Electric Power (AEP +1.78% to $53.63)
  • Applied Materials (AMAT +1.45% to $22.37)
  • Autodesk (ADSK +1.9% to $54.75)
  • Brown Forman (BF/B +1.58% to $92.51)
  • Cabot Oil & Gas (COG +1.6% to $33.75)
  • Cameron Int (CAM +1.07% to $71.67)
  • Capital One Financial (COF +0.83% to $82.18)
  • Celgene (CELG +3.48% to $92.57)
  • Clorox Company (CLX +0.77% to $90.18)
  • Consolidated Edison (ED +1.24% to $57.24)
  • Dominion Resources (D +0.99% to $69.34)
  • DTE Energy (DTE +1.13% to $76.9)
  • DuPont (DD +0.81% to $65.83)
  • Eastman Chemical (EMN +0.95% to $83.72)
  • Edison International (EIX +1.75% to $58.12)
  • General Electric (GE +1.12% to $26.21)
  • General Growth Properties (GGP +1.51% to $24.21)
  • Google (GOOGL +1.23% to $588.78)
  • Hospira (HSP +0.87% to $53.25)
  • Kinder Morgan (KMI +1.43% to $38.25)
  • Mastercard (MA +1.79% to $76.59)
  • McKesson (MCK +1.84% to $195.3)
  • Microchip Technology (MCHP +1.59% to $48.06)
  • Noble Energy (NBL +2.35% to $71.11)
  • Northeast Utilities (NU +2.11% to $45.56)
  • Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX +1.88% to $93.86)
  • Visa (V +1.24% to $217.3)
  • Whole Foods Market (WFM +1.65% to $38.19)

American Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
  • Harley Davidson (HOG -1.33% to $63.57)
  • PGE Corp (PCG -0.82% to $45.96)

Update by InterTrader
17-Sep-14 [7:42am] US indices rose on Tuesday led by shares in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment, Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences and Utilities sectors.

The S&P 500 (1998.98) broke above its 20 DMA (1995.4 - positive slope), and remains above its 50 DMA (1973 - flat slope).

European markets are expected to start on a flat note.

Update by InterTrader
17-Sep-14 [7:42am] Dow Jones Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
  • Dow Jones pivot point: 16930
  • Our preference: Long positions above 16930 with targets @ 17080 & 17150 in extension.
  • Alternative scenario: Below 16930 look for further downside with 16840 & 16765 as targets.
Comment: The RSI is bullish and calls for further advance.

Update by InterTrader
17-Sep-14 [6:29am] European equities are set to start on a firm footing on speculation that the Fed will keep its dovish stance.

Markets have been on edge lately and bracing themselves for the implied nod that the beginning of the interest rate hike cycle has a start date.

Although analysts have been slanting the odds in favour of the Fed removing the phrase “considerable amount of time” from its statement tomorrow, the Wall Street Journal’s Hilsenrath triggered a rush of risk-on buying as he suggested that the key phrase would remain.

We may never know whether or not Hilsenrath’s a very good guesser or if he’s been having the odd moonlit rendezvous with Fed members. However, it seems that his insight was good enough for equities traders to go ahead and take the plunge.

Reports that China’s central bank will provide over $81bn of liquidity to the country’s five biggest banks, in an attempt to bolster economic growth, have sparked a sharp rally in global equities.

The feel good effect also pushed the Dow Jones 107 points higher to 17,143.

Additional support was offered by rising oil prices which in turn triggered a rally in energy stocks.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
17-Sep-14 [4:56am] The Dow Jones futures market closed sharply higher on Tuesday and posted a new high for the year on speculation that the Federal Reserve will continue to keep interest rates low into the foreseeable future. Tuesday's high-range close sets the stage for a steady-to-higher opening on Wednesday. Stochastics and the RSI have turned neutral-to-bullish signalling that sideways-to-higher prices are possible near-term. Closes above today's high into uncharted territory will make it hard to make upside projections. Closes below last Friday's low crossing would confirm that a short-term top has been posted.

Update by PipTrade
15-Sep-14 [9:07am] American Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
  • Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB +0.76% to $20.645)
  • Navient (NAVI +0.92% to $17.62)

American Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
  • Adobe Systems (ADBE -1.99% to $70.98)
  • AGL Resources (GAS -1.52% to $52.49)
  • Aimco (AIV -2.83% to $32.93)
  • Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN -2.53% to $162.72)
  • Allegheny Technologies (ATI -2.18% to $41.74)
  • American Electric Power (AEP -1.98% to $52.48)
  • CA Technologies (CA -1.18% to $28.5)
  • Cameron Int (CAM -1.39% to $71.09)
  • Campbell Soup (CPB -1.63% to $43.4)
  • Centerpoint Energy (CNP -2.02% to $24.25)
  • Clorox Company (CLX -1.22% to $88.98)
  • CMS Energy (CMS -1.95% to $29.63)
  • Consolidated Edison (ED -1.48% to $56.43)
  • CR Bard (BCR -1.29% to $147.93)
  • Dominion Resources (D -1.92% to $68.58)
  • DTE Energy (DTE -2.16% to $75.57)
  • Edison International (EIX -1.93% to $56.88)
  • Flowserve Corp (FLS -1.29% to $74.26)
  • General Growth Properties (GGP -2.5% to $23.78)
  • Google (GOOGL -1.05% to $584.9)
  • HCP Inc (HCP -4.48% to $40.55)
  • Health Care REIT (HCN -4.87% to $63.25)
  • Integrys Energy (TEG -2.02% to $66.59)
  • Juniper Networks (JNPR -2.28% to $23.16)
  • Kellogg (K -1.24% to $63.89)
  • Kinder Morgan (KMI -1.54% to $37.76)
  • Kraft Foods (KRFT -1.16% to $57.72)
  • Marathon Oil (MRO -1.1% to $39.58)
  • Microchip Technology (MCHP -1.47% to $47.67)
  • Northeast Utilities (NU -1.78% to $44.57)
  • Pepsico (PEP -0.85% to $90.87)
  • Pfizer (PFE -0.67% to $29.43)
  • Phillips 66 (PSX -1.18% to $83.02)
  • Pitney Bowes (PBI -2.57% to $26.53)
  • PulteGroup (PHM -1.52% to $18.78)
  • Simon Property (SPG -2.6% to $165.5)
  • Southern Co (SO -1.59% to $43.36)
  • TECO Energy (TE -2.68% to $17.43)
  • Tyco International (TYC -1.34% to $44.33)
  • Waters (WAT -1.85% to $101.78)
  • Whole Foods Market (WFM -1.08% to $38.095)
  • Wisconsin Energy (WEC -2.37% to $44.11)
  • Xcel Energy (XEL -1.94% to $31.27)

Update by InterTrader
15-Sep-14 [9:07am] US indices declined on Friday pressured by shares in the Real Estate, Utilities and Energy sectors.

The S&P 500 (1985.54) fell below its 20 DMA (1992.5 - positive slope), and remains above its 50 DMA (1972.6 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a negative note.

Update by InterTrader
15-Sep-14 [9:07am] Dow Jones Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
  • Dow Jones pivot point: 16945
  • Our preference: Short positions below 16945 with targets @ 16810 & 16765 in extension.
  • Alternative scenario: Above 16945 look for further upside with 16990 & 17050 as targets.
Comment: Technically the RSI is below its neutrality area at 50.

Update by InterTrader
15-Sep-14 [8:56am] Updated Dow Jones COT Report

The latest COT Report (Commitments of Traders) for the Dow Jones futures market has been released by the CFTC, please see our Dow Jones COT report below.

Readers should note that we have also updated our Stock Market COT Summary Report.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
15-Sep-14 [6:27am] European equities are set to slump on the open following weak data from China that came out over the weekend.

As if traders didn’t have enough to contend with this week, what with the Scottish Referendum and the FOMC meeting, China has flapped its hands in the air to remind everyone that they are facing an abrupt slowdown.

With positive cues evaporating, and uncertainty stacking up, it’s only natural that risk aversion is setting in early this week.

Last week in the US, retail sales rose at a faster than estimated pace and consumer confidence also climbed higher than initially predicted.

However, the Dow Jones dropped 69 points to 16,991 as investors were quick to speculate the Fed might now be tempted to hike interest rates sooner than anticipated.

The US central bank’s meeting later this week will probably bring new details on what ‘considerable period of time’ means.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads

» 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 - 9 Sep 2014 (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
37,718 26,265 2,809 72,429 81,958 112,956 111,032 129,446 16,490 18,414
Changes from 2 Sep 2014 (i) Change in (i) Open Interest Changes from
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short Long Short
-2,570 -867 1,364 2,073 -1,175 867 -678 -104 -971 574
Percent of Open Interest for Each Category of Trader
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short   Long Short
29.1% 20.3% 2.2% 56.0% 63.3% 87.3% 85.8%   12.7% 14.2%
Number of Traders in Each Category (i) Total (i) Traders  
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short    
33 28 8 38 30 74 63 119    
Long/Short Commitments Ratios (i)   Long/Short Ratio
Ratio   Ratio Ratio   Ratio
1.4:1   1:1.1 1:1   1:1.1
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.

Let’s 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 don’t 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 17-Sep-14

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