Stock Market Index Spread Betting Guide with Daily Analysis, Spreads Comparison and Live Charts & Prices
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Stock Market Spread Betting

Stock Market Spread Betting



Stock Market Prices


Indicative Stock Market prices:











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


Stock Market Index Price Comparison


A price comparison table looking at the 'spread size' and minimum stakes for the most popular stock market indices.

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. - this table is not meant to be inclusive, index spread betting may be available through other brokers.


Stock Market Spread Betting Analysis & News


Date Trading Update
30-Jan-15 [4:15pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE is 40 points lower but still finds itself over 3% higher for the year so far.

The FTSE 100 ends the month noticeably higher, making it a good start to the year for this index.

This has been done despite a continuation of the slump in oil company share prices, as well as more losses for the beleaguered mining sector.

The road however looks grim; Greece is increasingly behaving in a manner that seems calculated to infuriate its Eurozone partners, while US growth, as underlined by today's figures, is entering a softer patch.

January may have seen the high-water mark for the index for the time being, especially since it finds itself yet again unable to break through 6900.

BT's decision to put its pension fund in order before embarking on more adventures wasn't quite the outcome investors had been hoping for, and as a result the shares languish at the bottom of the index.

Over in Europe, markets are ending the month on a downbeat note, although the ECB's magic meant that major indices like the DAX and CAC have done even better than the FTSE 100 so far this year.

With Greek worries only set to increase as February begins however, there will be many looking to cash in their gains until the situation becomes clearer.

Markets on Wall Street shed ground rapidly at the open, as the whipsaw action continues.

GDP figures from across the North American continent were below expectations, lending further weight to the idea that the previously high-achieving US economy is running into tougher going.

However, consumer spending was robust, giving hope that coming revisions will see the number pushed higher.

Mastercard and Chevron both did better than expected in their earnings, helping to offset a number of weak reports this week.

The limelight was stolen by Shake Shack, which opened up over 100% higher on its debut today.

Although on a pricey multiple, investors are prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to the new firm, with many no doubt remembering the stellar performance of another highly-priced fast food IPO, namely that of Chipotle.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
30-Jan-15 [4:04pm] European Stock Markets

European markets got washed away in an ebbing tide of lower prices in the Eurozone on Friday.

This was not helped by instability in neighbouring Russia when its central bank surprised with an interest rate cut that sent the Russian ruble to its lowest levels since the panic in December.

Eurozone CPI dropped by -0.6% year-on-year in January, worse than the -0.5% expected and the -0.2% fall in December.

If looking for a silver lining to what is pretty poor economic news; the accelerated fall in consumer prices reiterates the need for extraordinary policy from the ECB and keeps equity-boosting QE on the table for at least a year.

The German DAX came about 20 points short of new all-time highs on Thursday before falling back on Friday led lower by Volkswagen and Bayer shares.

UK Stock Markets

Rising consumer sentiment wasn't enough to help UK markets gain much traction as deflation worries crossed the channel after European consumer prices dropped more than expected in January.

Miners and resource companies topped the FTSE 100 in a rebound from getting crunched alongside gold and copper prices on Thursday aided by a rise in Dixons Carphone seen as a beneficiary in the Three-O2-Sky merger and cooperation.

Shares in BT declined despite better than expected earnings when it announced costly plans to pay down its pension deficit and upgrade its fibre network.

News that Sky is looking to team up with O2 to compete in the 'quad play' market by offering mobile phone services was also a downer for BT that had been seen as leading the charge in that area.

IAG shares traded lower on the news Qatar Airways had bought just short of a 10% stake in the airline worth £1.15bn.

US Stock Markets

Markets in the US got off to a difficult start on Friday after growth deteriorated more than anticipated in the fourth quarter to 2.6% followed by a suggestion by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard in a TV interview that it was 'reasonable' to expect an interest rate increase in July.

Unless there's a late surge on Friday; the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average are set to have lost ground in January in a bad start to 2015.

The NASDAQ 100 was the outperformer as shares in Amazon took off by over 11% after the company beat earnings estimates making a profit in the fourth quarter following a loss in the previous three months.

The report addressed Amazon's problem from the last few quarters of eating too far into its profits with expenses in order to fund expansion.

Amazon forecasted revenues for the first quarter of 2015 slightly below previous estimates but the company is expanding so quickly shareholders will happy to give up some revenue if it means lower costs and higher profits.

Some moderation in US GDP is natural after a stellar 5% growth rate in the third quarter.

The slowdown was bigger than expected and feeds into fears that a strong dollar, an international slowdown and slowing investment in the US oil industry will take a toll on US growth.

US growth may not be quite down and out just yet, consumer spending increased at the fastest pace in nine years thanks to falling unemployment and the drop in oil prices.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
30-Jan-15 [11:09am] The strong US dollar was a major concern heading into the fourth quarter earnings season and that was precisely the reason given by Google for missing earnings estimates overnight.

This is contributing towards a lower open on Friday and could lead to a loss for major US indices in January as a whole.

Friday sees another flurry of earnings releases including from oil giant Chevron which will be widely watched given the dramatic fall in oil prices in the past few months.

Google reported income and revenue growth below expectations for the fourth quarter thanks to the stronger dollar and falling prices for its online advertisements.

The tech firm is making progress in diversifying its revenue stream across multiple platforms, with YouTube and Google Play now big contributors to revenue.

The less reliance Google has on its core search business, the less exposed it is to falling online advertisement prices especially as overall online advertising expenditure is increasing.

Should exchange rates stabilise, Google may be set to return to form in the first quarter.

Amazon tipped the scales in its latest earnings report when earnings per share almost tripled estimates but revenues slightly missed.

Shares are expected to open higher since the report addressed Amazon's problem from the last few quarters of eating too far into its profits with expenses in order to fund expansion.

Amazon forecasted revenues for the first quarter of 2015 slightly below previous estimates but the company is expanding so quickly shareholders will happy to give up some revenue if it means lower costs and higher profits.

Visa beat earnings estimates on the top and bottom line and announced a 4-1 stock split.

Chevron Better Positioned than Many Sector Peers

Chevron reports earnings before the open on Friday and is expected to announce a large fall-off in profits and revenues from the year ago period thanks to the sharp drop in oil prices.

Investors will be looking to see how Chevron will change strategy to mitigate falling oil prices, namely capex cuts in future exploration projects and any refocus on its LNG business.

As an integrated oil major, Chevron is less exposed to falling oil prices than most energy companies and that is reflected in its share price which has outperformed the price of oil.

Shares stabilised in mid-December above $100, however disappointment today could see prices break that key psychological level and perhaps target $87, the lows seen in October 2011.

MasterCard, Eli Lilly, Xerox, Mattel, AbbVie and Tyson Foods all report earnings on Friday.

Futures suggest that the S&P 500 will open 14 points lower at 2,007, with the Dow Jones expected to open 63 points lower at 17,353 and the NASDAQ 7 points lower at 4,174.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
30-Jan-15 [9:37am] Syriza are set to meet with Eurozone financial chief Dijsselbloem later today, who has already thrown doubt on the party's ability to maintain their pre-election promises now they are in power.

With Greece appearing to delay the approval of new sanctions against Russia after Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis claims the country was not consulted on the issue, the fractious relationship between Tspiras and the European establishment is finally starting to coalesce after the pleasantries at the start of the week.

Whilst the Eurozone saw big gains by yesterday afternoon, Friday has brought a mixed morning as German retail sales fell whilst there was positive data from Spain, France and Italy.

The big test will be the flash inflation figures for the entire region alongside the overall unemployment rate later this morning; with QE to officially arrive in March, these results will likely be a further indicator of the Eurozone's long road to recovery.

The FTSE saw its gains stall this morning as its energy and mining stocks still struggle to regain their footing after the big falls at the start of the week.

Whilst Brent crude has fluctuated between $48 and $49 for much of the past two weeks, it has resisted the precipitous falls that had been a regular occurrence in the last few months.

However, this relative stability doesn't change the fact the commodity is too cheap for oil producers, and alongside copper which as seen losses for the past 3 days, commodities remain the dark cloud hanging over the FTSE.

A strong close for the US markets last night couldn't help this morning's futures, as the USA prepares itself for what is expected to be a disappointing advance GDP figure.

Earnings season has continued to be frustrating for investors as two more US giants struggled to full satisfy traders.

Google saw profit increase nearly 30% but still failed to match analysts' revenue forecasts, whilst Amazon saw a 15% rise in sales but a $25 million year on year drop in profits.

With Apple's strong earnings now a firm anomaly, the US has struggled to find solace in either its companies or its data, and looks set to limp to this week's finish line.

Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst, Spreadex
30-Jan-15 [9:33am] The FTSE is off by 15 points as it struggles to keep up with the optimism of the Eurozone equity indices.

This morning should see further comments from Greece's Syriza party as they are due to expand on their stance as far as the Troika-imposed austerity is concerned.

Regardless of the promises made in their run up to gaining power, the cold hard reality of Greece's predicament has been highlighted in the aggressive manner equity markets have thumped the Greek banks over the last week.

On top of the latest Greek twists and turns, the Eurozone will also need to absorb the latest inflation figures and, judging by the worse-than-expected German inflation figures yesterday, these are unlikely to come in better than expected.

Airlines are once again making all the headlines as the sector has fresh M&A activity as Qatar Airways has taken a 9.99% stake in British Airways parent company IAG.

There is every chance that this position will be added to in the future, as the Qatar sovereign wealth fund-owned airline looks to strengthen its relations.

With easyJet having already posted good figures and expectations that Ryanair's third-quarter figures on Monday will impress too, this is a sector that continues to fly.

BT Group has posted third-quarter figures which have seen pre-tax profits jump by 13%.

However, the looming costs of bidding for football rights, acquiring EE and having to pump a further £2 billion into the company's pension fund have dominated traders thinking, squeezing the shares down by almost 2% in early trading.

Last night was the turn of Amazon to impress US investors with its stellar figures after market close.

Success in boosting earnings per share to almost three times above expectations allowed its stock to move 15% higher in out of hours trading.

Even though Google's revenue came in 23% better-than-expected, it failed to grab the same enthusiasm as Amazon.

Today it is the turn of Mastercard, Xerox and Chevron to post fourth-quarter figures.

Traders will also be keeping an eye out for the latest quarterly US GDP figures at 1.30pm, which will round off a busy week for US economic news.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 27 points lower at 17,389.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
30-Jan-15 [8:44am]

Stock Markets Fall Back Ahead of US Growth Figures



Some stronger corporate figures, particularly from Apple, saw US stocks post a bullish engulfing pattern, however, the futures are struggling this morning, with the FTSE and the Nikkei also on the back foot.

Crude oil has maintained its downtrend as inventories continue to hit record highs, touching an intraday low close to $43, though it has not accelerated in its falls.



Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development, CMC Markets
30-Jan-15 [8:11am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading down -1.0pts (-0.01%) at 6,840.3
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones is trading down -47pts (-0.27%) at 17,428
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 is trading down -6.5pts (-0.32%) at 2,019.0
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -9.3pts (-0.22%) at 4,194.9
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading down -194pts (-1.09%) at 17,657
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading down -29.7pts (-0.27%) at 10,787.5
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading down -16.7pts (-0.36%) at 4,655.5
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 65pts (0.32%) at 20,689
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 13pts (0.12%) at 10,573
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading down -7pts (-0.21%) at 3,389
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 is trading down -1.6pts (-0.35%) at 454.2
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading down -29.0pts (-0.34%) at 8,446.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
30-Jan-15 [7:30am] US indices jumped on Thursday helped by shares in the Consumer Durables & Apparel, Automobiles & Components and Consumer Services sectors.

The S&P 500 (2021.25) remains below its 20 DMA (2031.37 - negative slope), and 50 DMA (2046 - flat slope).

European markets are expected to start on a flat note.

Update by InterTrader
30-Jan-15 [5:24am] As we come to the end of the week and the end of the first month of 2015, we can reflect on an extremely turbulent month for markets across all asset classes.

US equity markets have failed to make any headway at all, chopping sharply in a fairly broad range and struggling to make new highs, with the very real prospect that we could well see not only a negative week, but a negative month.

Investors have started to worry about elevated valuations against a background of a rising dollar and a central bank that seems intent on taking a back seat for the time being.

European markets, on the other hand have outperformed, ripping higher in January and also look set for a positive week.

Traders have continued to drip feed money into the German, French, Italian and Spanish markets in the wake of last week's ECB stimulus decision, putting to one side concerns about the political instability in Greece, to invest in markets that remain some way short of their 2007 peaks, excluding the German DAX.

Europe Set to Slide Further into Deflation

As for today we can expect to see a higher European open after a late rally in the US saw a strong finish helped by some good weekly jobless claims and some reported remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

She suggested to Democratic lawmakers that the Fed saw no need to raise rates imminently, though I'm not quite sure why this would be a surprise to anyone given the outcome of Wednesday's FOMC meeting.

Yesterday's economic data continued to point to Germany as the healthiest European economy, deflation concerns notwithstanding, as unemployment remained at a low 6.5%.

However, today is likely to paint a slightly different story, with the release of Italian and EU unemployment numbers for December, which are set to remain eye-wateringly high.

Italian unemployment is expected to rise to another record of 13.5%, up from 13.4%, with youth unemployment rising further.

EU Unemployment is expected to remain unchanged at 11.5%.

On the inflation front, the situation is expected to deteriorate further with the latest broad EU January flash reading expected to drop to -0.5%, from -0.2%, reinforcing the decision by the ECB to launch its controversial QE program.

Core prices are expected to remain unchanged at 0.7%.

US Growth Figures May Start to See Impact of Falling Oil Prices

In the afternoon session, the latest Q4 GDP numbers for the US are expected to show a slowdown from the 5% reading seen in Q3, not altogether surprising given how much of a surprise it was.

Expectations for this afternoon's reading have come down somewhat though after this week's really poor durable goods numbers and revisions, which could well see a disappointing number this afternoon.

Expectations are for 3%, which is still pretty good, but the recent drop in oil prices could also start to see some evidence of a manufacturing slowdown.

In this context the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index reading for January could well be instructive.

After this week's Fed meeting left expectations of a summer rate hike finely balanced, the latest employment costs index for Q4 could well offer clues as to wage pressures in the US economy.

This is forecast to show a decline from 0.7% to 0.6%, which is hardly likely to see the Fed hurrying to raise rates.

As such this is important along with average hourly earnings, which is due next week with the latest employment report.

Weak numbers in wages growth are unlikely to have the Fed rushing to raise rates in the near term, especially as inflation is also weak as well, and currency markets appear to be slow in waking up to this fact.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
30-Jan-15 [5:22am] Stock markets in Europe are set to gain on the open following an overnight rally in the US.

A late rally in the US session turned what was going to be an ugly day into a triple digit winner.

The financial markets were rather disheartened following the FOMC's upbeat assessment of the US economy and were taken a-back by the lack of dovishness.

However, Janet Yellen must have been watching and came to the rescue when, at a meeting with Senate Democrats, she said that she wasn't going to raise rates immediately.

With US jobless claims tumbling to their lowest level in nearly 15 years helping to spur optimism in the employment sector, the two events inspired a surge in the equity markets.

This saw the Dow Jones rally from its lows around 17,135 to close the day 279 points higher at 17,475, effectively recouping the previous day's losses.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
30-Jan-15 [4:11am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

How the key stock market indices closed compared to the previous session:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 closed up 88.6pts (1.31%) at 6,841.3
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 291pts (1.69%) at 17,474
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 27.0pts (1.35%) at 2,025.5
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 74.2pts (1.80%) at 4,204.2
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 267pts (1.52%) at 17,851
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 236.1pts (2.23%) at 10,817.2
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 123.5pts (2.72%) at 4,672.2
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 closed up 100pts (0.49%) at 20,624
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 122pts (1.17%) at 10,560
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 82pts (2.47%) at 3,396
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 8.7pts (1.95%) at 455.8
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 221.5pts (2.68%) at 8,475.0

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
29-Jan-15 [4:24pm] The absence of the normally dependable better-than-expected US reporting season has seen confidence eaten into as analysts try to get a handle on Syriza's tactics.

Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is down 20 points.

The last few days have seen investors in the Greek banking sector suffering from a delayed reality check from the consequences of an anti-austerity government taking control of the country.

The very real possibility of a separation from the Eurozone and the Troika taps being turned off has seen prices of Greek banks plummet.

This week's sell off appears to be squeezed low enough to tempt the buyers back in, triggering a bounce of 13%.

This pre-emptive doomsday scenario that Greek banks have played out has done the Troika's arguing for it.

Not that one is needed but tomorrow's Eurozone inflation figures should keep nerves on edge, especially as today's German figures showed that inflation came in lower than expected.

easyJet has spent all day as the FTSE's highest climber as the feel-good factor from yesterday's figures continues to generate fresh investors in the discount airline.

Royal Dutch Shell, on the other hand, has announced a further $15 billion in spending cuts as low oil prices see an increasing number of operations becoming unviable.

As much as the oil major tried to divert attention away from these spending cuts by maintaining its dividend, the shares have spent most of the day down by 5%.

Fresnillo has also suffered as the silver mining company has seen the commodities spot price look that little bit less precious over the last 24 hours.

US corporate data continues to come thick and fast, and the pre-market results from Alibaba triggered an aggressive sell off in the shares.

The rate of revenue growth came in short of expectations, and within the first 30 minutes of trading Jack Ma's company was down by over 9.5%.

Ford also posted fourth-quarter figures, and an increase in global car sales has helped drive pre-tax profits up by $55 million to $423 million.

The last couple of days have seen an improvement in the companies beating market expectations for the earnings per share, while at the same time seeing falling revenues.

It is looking increasingly likely that markets have been spoilt over recent years with the US reporting season seeing 70% or more companies posting better-than-expected figures; however, this time around they are not expected to be so charitable.

After the US markets close today both Google and Amazon will post quarterly updates, and even though the bar has not been set too high it has not stopped a number of the major US equities tripping up.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
29-Jan-15 [4:14pm] European Stock Markets

European markets flat lined on Thursday as markets digested the implications of the US Federal Reserve still aiming for a mid-year rate-hike set against accelerating deflation and a smaller than expected drop in unemployment in Germany.

The German DAX oscillated around 10,700 showing relative strength in the face of weak economic data now that German markets have the backstop of ECB bond-buying.

Greek bank shares recovered alongside other major banks including Deutsche Bank which made a fourth quarter profit after slumping this week.

The bounce in bank stocks came after Daniele Nouy, head of the European Central Bank's Supervisory Board, said the nation's lenders are 'pretty strong' and can survive the current market turbulence.

UK Stock Markets

Disappointing earnings thanks to the sharp drop in oil prices from Royal Dutch Shell were a drag on the FTSE 100 as BP and other energy companies traded down in sympathy.

Earnings from Royal Dutch Shell missed expectations and shares traded lower on Thursday.

There could be some scope for recovery Shell's stock price in the days to come given earnings were higher year-over-year in the context of a 50% drop in oil prices.

The fact that Shell has seen earnings expansion is testament to CEO Ben Van Beurden's cost-cutting regimen which appears to have served the company well in a very difficult environment.

ASOS shares declined after CEO and founder Nick Robertson dumped 10% of his holdings.

An insider, especially the founder, selling 10% of their shares is not a great sign of confidence in future company performance.

US Stock Markets

Facebook led US benchmarks lower on Thursday despite beating estimates as concern arose over accelerating expenditure.

US benchmark indices belied the weakness in one of the biggest issues as Alibaba shares dived after missing revenue estimates.

Facebook beat estimates on the top and bottom line and most metrics were in line which in early 2014 would have meant a big leap in stock prices but shares are down.

The market reaction to Facebook's earnings is telling of a changed environment in which without QE from the Fed, highly valued companies are having to do that much more to impress with earnings.

McDonald's was leading the Dow Jones to a small gain after the restaurant chain announced the departure of its CEO Don Thompson.

An image overhaul and the introduction of new menu items has not been enough to overcome the millennial generation who shun eating at McDonald's in favour of the likes of Chipotle.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
29-Jan-15 [3:45pm] Despite being spooked by Syriza's continued faith to their pre-election promises, the Eurozone indices appear somewhat reassured by the country's discourse with the region's important financial figures.

Savvy Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is set to visit London on Monday to meet with his economic-opposite George Osborne, before meeting France's Macron and Sapin later in February.

These moves seem to have calmed talks of a 'Grexit' and helped the euro make headway against the dollar.

Despite Syriza's seriousness over renegotiating Greek debt, these are the actions of considered politicians rather than the radical upstarts the party is often painted as and this shift in perception is helping the Eurozone indices.

The FTSE managed to hang on to its gains as the day went on, with Brent Crude oil creeping towards the $49 per barrel mark, and copper managing to stabilise slightly around $246 per pound.

The FTSE is still seeing losses in many of its energy and mining stocks, but is beginning to resist the index wide drag these declines have caused in the past couple of days, undoubtedly helped by a better than expected CBI realised sales figure.

Missed targets for Alibaba and a mixed reaction to Facebook's latest statement were countered by Ford exceeding expectations, a new CEO for McDonald's and strong jobless claims data for the US markets.

Thursday has two more giants to announce with Google and Amazon set to send ripples through the American indices when they reveal their numbers later today.

With this earnings season a mess, and a relatively hawkish statement from the Fed dampening US spirts, the advance GDP figure set to be released tomorrow is going to be the latest piece of data for the markets to endure, with estimates pointing to a decline.

Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst, Spreadex
29-Jan-15 [3:38pm] Despite being spooked by Syriza's continued faith to their pre-election promises, the Eurozone indices appear somewhat reassured by the country's discourse with the region's important financial figures.

Savvy Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is set to visit London on Monday to meet with his economic-opposite George Osborne, before meeting France's Macron and Sapin later in February.

These moves seem to have calmed talks of a 'Grexit' and helped the euro make headway against the dollar.

Despite Syriza's seriousness over renegotiating Greek debt, these are the actions of considered politicians rather than the radical upstarts the party is often painted as and this shift in perception is helping the Eurozone indices.

The FTSE managed to hang on to its gains as the day went on, with Brent Crude oil creeping towards the $49 per barrel mark, and copper managing to stabilise slightly around $246 per pound.

The FTSE is still seeing losses in many of its energy and mining stocks, but is beginning to resist the index wide drag these declines have caused in the past couple of days, undoubtedly helped by a better than expected CBI realised sales figure.

Missed targets for Alibaba and a mixed reaction to Facebook's latest statement were countered by Ford exceeding expectations, a new CEO for McDonald's and strong jobless claims data for the US markets.

Thursday has two more giants to announce with Google and Amazon set to send ripples through the American indices when they reveal their numbers later today.

With this earnings season a mess, and a relatively hawkish statement from the Fed dampening US spirts, the advance GDP figure set to be released tomorrow is going to be the latest piece of data for the markets to endure, with estimates pointing to a decline.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index

Readers please note:


Trading Risk Warning

For the stock market commentary archives see Stock Market Trading Archive.

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market Indices

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market Indices?


At the moment, investors can speculate on stock market indices with:

Live Stock Market Spread Betting Prices and Charts


We do give readers some fairly accurate spread betting prices for the daily index markets, please see index spread betting prices above.

The live CFD chart and prices below will offer readers a useful look at the FTSE 100 (UK 100) stock market index.

You can use the search option on the chart to select other indices like the Dow Jones (USA 30), S&P 500 (USA 500), DAX 30 (Germany 30), etc.


The above chart, provided by Plus 500, usually follows the FTSE 100 futures market (not the spot market).

If you want to study live spread betting prices and charts for the stock market, then naturally, one option is to use a spread betting account.

A spreads account would also give you access to daily markets. Users should note that accounts are subject to credit, suitability and status checks.

If you apply, and your application is approved, you can log on and use the live charts and prices. These are usually provided for free.

Of course, if you decide to trade then, before you start, you should be aware that spread trading and contracts for difference involve a significant level of risk to your capital and it is possible to incur losses that exceed your initial investment.

Advanced Stock Market Charts


Although charting software and packages can differ across the various firms, in order to assist you with your trading, the majority of charts usually have features such as:
  • A variety of time intervals - 1 minute, 2 minute, 10 minute, 1 hour, 2 hour, 1 day, etc
  • Indicators - Moving Average, MACD, Momentum, RSI, TSI etc
  • Various display styles - bar charts and candlestick charts
  • Tools for drawing features - Fibonacci retracements and trendlines
The charts provided by FinancialSpreads.com also come with other benefits such as:
  • Custom email alerts when a market reaches a certain level
  • Back Testing and Analysis tools

Typical index spread betting chart

Stock Market Trading Guide - Example Chart


The financial spread betting brokers in the following list offer users real-time trading prices and charts:

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market for Free?


Investing in the stock market always has its risks, but if you want a free Practice Account, which lets you try spread betting, see below for more details.

Also, don't forget that in the UK, spread betting is exempt from capital gains tax, income tax and stamp duty*.

If you're trying to find a low cost stock market/spread betting platform, keep in mind that you can speculate on the indices without having to pay any commissions or brokers’ fees via companies like:

Free Demo Account


If you are interested in a free Demo Account where you can practice index spread betting, then take a look at: The above companies provide a Test Account that lets investors try out new trading ideas, review professional charts and practice with an array of trading orders.


Stock Market Trades: Daily vs Futures Markets


Many investors prefer daily markets to futures markets. In the trading examples below we cover both daily and futures.

A 'Rolling Daily' market is unlike a futures market in that there is no closing date.

If you decide to leave your trade open at the end of the day, it simply rolls over to the next trading day.

If a trade is rolled over and you are spread betting on the market to:

  Index Spread Betting Example Go up - then you are charged a small overnight financing fee, or
  Index Spread Betting Example Go down - then you will usually receive a small credit to your account

For a more detailed example see Rolling Daily Spread Betting.

Futures Markets

A ‘futures’ market will normally have a wider spread than a ‘daily’ market. However, you do not normally have ‘daily rolling’ costs with a futures market.

Having said that, if you are trading a quarterly futures market, i.e. a market that closes at the end of the quarter, and you want to keep it open past the expiry date then you will often incur a small cost at the end of the quarter.

Importantly, if you plan on doing this, you need to tell your spread betting company in advance, i.e. before the contract expires.


How to Spread Bet on Stock Market

How to Spread Bet on a Stock Market Index?


An index is a statistical indicator that represents the total value of the stocks that constitute it eg the FTSE and Dow Jones are both indices. It often serves as a barometer for a given market or industry and acts as a benchmark from which financial or economic performance is measured.

As with many global markets, you can spread bet on a stock market index to rise or fall.

FTSE 100 Index - Rolling Daily Example


If we go onto Financial Spreads, we can see that they are pricing the FTSE 100 Rolling Daily market at 5819.7 - 5820.7. This means you can spread bet on the FTSE 100 index:

  Index Spread Betting Example Moving higher than 5820.7, or
  Index Spread Betting Example Moving lower than 5819.7

Whilst placing a spread bet on the FTSE 100 index you trade in £x per point. Therefore, if you choose to have a stake of £3 per point and the FTSE 100 moves 32 points then that would be a difference to your P&L of £96. £3 per point x 32 points = £96.

So, let’s assume:
  • You have done your analysis, and
  • Your analysis suggests the FTSE 100 index will move higher than 5820.7
If so, you might want to buy a spread bet at 5820.7 for a stake of, let’s say, £4 per point.

With this trade you make a profit of £4 for every point that the FTSE 100 index moves above 5820.7. Conversely, however, you will lose £4 for every point that the FTSE 100 market drop below the 5820.7 level.

Or, in other words, if you were to buy a spread bet then your profit/loss is 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 difference in price by your stake.

If, after a few hours, the UK stock market rose then you might consider closing your position in order to lock in your profit.

If the FTSE rose then the spread, set by the spread trading firm, might move up to 5849.3 - 5850.3. In order to close your spread bet you would sell at 5849.3. So if you sell with the same £4 stake your profit would be calculated as:

Profit / loss = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
Profit / loss = (5849.3 - 5820.7) x £4 per point stake
Profit / loss = 28.6 x £4 per point stake
Profit / loss = £114.40 profit

Speculating on stock market indices won't always go to plan. In this case, you wanted the UK index to rise. Of course, stock markets can fall.

If the FTSE 100 market began to fall then you could close your trade in order to limit your losses.

If the UK stock market dropped to 5785.8 - 5786.8 you would close your trade by selling at 5785.8. So your loss would be calculated as:

Profit / loss = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
Profit / loss = (5785.8 - 5820.7) x £4 per point stake
Profit / loss = -34.9 x £4 per point stake
Profit / loss = -£139.60 loss

Note: FTSE 100 Rolling Daily market quoted as of 28-Nov-12.


How to Spread Bet on Indices - Selling FTSE 100 Futures Market


Let's say a firm is offering a FTSE 100 Futures price of 6202 - 6206, i.e. you can 'buy' at 6206 or 'sell' at 6202.
  • You think the FTSE is going to go down, so you 'Sell'.
  • You decide to risk £10 per point
  • The market rises in the afternoon. You decide to cut your losses by closing your bet at the latest current Daily FTSE price
  • The new quote is 6210 - 6212
  • To close a 'sell' bet you simply 'buy' at the top end of the spread for the same stake
  • You buy £10/point at 6212
  • Closing price = 6212
  • Profit / Loss = (Opening price - Closing price) x stake
  • Opening price = 6202
  • Profit / Loss = (6202 - 6212) x £10 per point
  • -10 point Loss x £10 per point
  • Loss = -£100

How to Spread Bet on a Stock Market - Selling US Futures (Wall Street)


Let's say Wall Street, i.e. the Dow Jones, has been gaining steadily but you feel the current level of 12215 is a medium term high. Therefore you could have a look at Wall Street Mar (March) and see the quote is 12331 - 12345.

Therefore you decide to SELL (go short) at 12331 for a stake of £5 per point.

You have Sold but the even if the price does increase you will still make a profit as long as it doesn't go above 12331 from the current level of 12215.

Let's say you're not quite right and the market continues to go up but only a fraction and in March it settles at 12290.

Your profit is calculated by calculating the difference between the closing level (12290) and the opening price (12331) and multiplying that by your stake.

Profit on day = (12331 - 12290) x £5 per point stake
Profit on day = 41 points x £5 per point = £205 profit

However had Wall Street continued to increase at a greater rate and closed at 12360, you would have lost.

Loss = (12331 - 12360) x £5 per point stake
Loss = -29 points x £5 per point = -£145 loss

Note: Wall Street market as of Jun 2012.


Advert: Stock Market Spread Betting, sponsored by FinancialSpreads.com.
You can spread bet on the Stock Market with Financial Spreads.


Individual Stock Market Guides


Below we have listed guides to the worlds’ major stock markets.

The guides for the more popular stock market indices have real-time prices and charts as well as regular market updates and analysis.

All of the guides below have worked trading examples and answer popular questions such as:
  • Where can I spread bet?
  • Where can I get live prices / charts?
  • Where can I trade commission free?
  • Where can I practice trading?
  • Etc.

Each spread betting company offers their own specific markets. However, nearly all large spread betting firms offer markets on these popular indices:

European Stock Markets American Stock Markets Rest of the World Stock Markets
FTSE 100 | Prices | Chart | Analysis Dow Jones | Prices | Chart | Analysis Nikkei 225 | Prices | Chart | Analysis
DAX 30 | Prices | Chart | Analysis S&P 500 | Prices | Chart | Analysis Hang Seng | Prices | Chart | Analysis
CAC 40 | Prices | Chart | Analysis Nasdaq 100 | Prices | Chart | Analysis


The majority of firms will also offer futures and/or daily markets on the following:

European Stock Markets American Stock Markets Rest of the World Stock Markets
AEX Index Spread Betting Russ 2K Spread Betting Brazil Index Spread Betting
Euro Stoxx 50 Spread Betting China Enterprise Spread Betting
FTSE 250 Spread Betting Indian Nifty 50 Spread Betting
Irish Stock Market Spread Betting
Italy 40 Spread Betting
MDAX Spread Betting
Spain 35 Spread Betting
Swiss SMI Spread Betting


Only a handful of firms offer the following markets. Whilst all spread betting is a high risk form of trading, users may want to take extra care when trading the following, these index markets are:
  • Less popular and therefore the ‘spreads’ tend to be wider i.e. the underlying market has to move further before you can close your trade for a profit.
  • More volatile and more likely to ‘gap’ or ‘slip’ than a liquid index like the FTSE 100 or Dow.

European Stock Markets American Stock Markets Rest of the World Stock Markets
Austria 20 Spread Betting - Canada 60 Spread Betting
Belgium 20 Spread Betting China A50 Spread Betting
Denmark 20 Spread Betting Korea 200 Spread Betting
Greece 20 Spread Betting Mexico 35 Spread Betting
Hungary 12 Spread Betting Singapore Blue Chip Spread Betting
Norway 25 Spread Betting South Africa 40 Spread Betting
Poland 20 Spread Betting Taiwan 50 Index Spread Betting
Sweden 30 Spread Betting
Turkey 30 Spread Betting
UK Techmark Spread Betting



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advantages of Spread Betting plus..." » read Financial Spreads review.


Commitments of Traders Stock Market Reports


When studying the CFTC COT reports, investors will often concentrate on the Non-Commercial commitments and the Change in Open Interest. Therefore, every week, we publish the latest data in the following ‘Summary Non-Commercial and Open Interest COT Report’.

For the full COT report for a particular stock market index, and to see how traders are altering their positions, just click on the relevant link in the summary table below.

Also see our Commitments of Traders guide.

Summary Indices Non-Commercial and Open Interest COT Report - 20 Jan 2015


Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 20 Jan 2015 13 Jan 2015 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1.5:1 9,001 15,702 -6,701 100,601 -10,131
S&P 500 Index 1.5:1 4,385 706 3,679 130,382 1,780
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 1.6:1 5,706 7,550 -1,844 61,136 -2,246
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 8.9:1 42,783 45,532 -2,749 92,848 -4,809


Quick Stock Market Guide:

  • FTSE 100: The index that highlights the performance of the UK's top 100 companies, as ranked by their market capitalisation. The FTSE 100 is normally the most popular spread betting market and a number of firms offer 24 hour trading from Sunday evening to Friday evening. In spread betting, the FTSE 100 is also referred to as the ‘UK 100’.

  • FTSE 250: The index of the next 250 UK companies, after the top 100. The FTSE 250 is sometimes referred to as the ‘UK 250’ or ‘FTSE MID 250’.

  • FTSE 350: The index of the top 350 UK companies by market capitalisation. It is a combination of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 stocks. You cannot normally trade a FTSE 350 market in spread betting.

  • Dow Jones: An index of 30 of the most traded US stocks. In financial spread betting and CFD trading this market is also known as the ‘Wall Street’ index. Like the FTSE 100, it is extremely popular with spread bettors.

  • S&P 500: Defines the broader US equity market, tracking the performance of the top 500 US companies. Sometimes referred to as the ‘SPX 500’ or ‘US 500’.

  • NASDAQ 100: NASDAQ stands for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The NASDAQ 100 is an index that reflects the performance of high tech stocks in the US. Sometimes referred to as the ‘US 100’ or ‘US Tech 100’.

  • Nikkei 225: The price-weighted average of 225 stocks of the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Japan 225’.
For more details on an individual index see our individual stock market guides above.


Case Study: Applying Technical Analysis to a Stock Market Index


Below, an older but still useful case study on the FTSE 100 by Shai Heffetz, InterTrader, 31-Aug-2011.

Looking at the candlestick chart below, we can see that up to the end of July 2011 the FTSE 100 was trading within a narrow range and staying reasonably close to the Ichimoku cloud.

At the beginning of August, it broke downwards out of this range and the price started to drop sharply. It continued to drop for nearly a week, during which time it went down by nearly a thousand points to well below 4,900.

Following that we saw a relatively strong recovery to just below 5,400 on 16 August and then another downward correction.

The FTSE 100 price is presently trading sideways without any clear direction.

Daily FTSE Spread Betting Chart

From a pure technical analysis point of view, traders should adopt a wait-and-see approach before taking any positions in the market.

The price is currently trading inside the cloud of the Ichimoku Kinko Hyo, which is a clear indication of market uncertainty.

The FTSE has continued to get closer to the upper border of the Ichimoku cloud. However, whilst the green Chinkou Span line is marginally above the price of 26 periods ago, this is not enough of a reason to enter into a long trade.

Taking into account the recent volatility in the market, if it breaks out of the cloud in an upwards direction a cautious trader would wait for a second, confirming signal before entering a long trade.

This could be when the blue Kijun Sen line also breaks out of the Ichimoku cloud in an upwards direction.

On the other hand, traders who are looking for a short trade should wait for the price to drop below the recent lowest level of 4,846.


Where Can I Find a Stock Market Index Trading Platform/Software?


Some of the spread betting firms offer software/trading platforms that you have to download and install onto your computer. Most firms however, offer web based platforms that allow easier access from home, the office and most other places with internet access.

The companies listed in our price comparison section all have web-based platforms where you can spread bet on indices and individual shares.


Trading Risk Warning
'Stock Market Spread Betting' edited by Jacob Wood, updated 30-Jan-15

For related articles also see:




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