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:

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
01-Oct-14 [4:11pm] Stock markets are selling off fast as the first day of October gets off on the wrong foot, with the FTSE 100 slumping to its lowest level since 8 August.

Global indices are in retreat as confidence in the world economy evaporates and investors pull back their positions ahead of major events in Europe and America this week.

Across Europe eyes have turned to the ECB meeting tomorrow.

The data points to a need for central bank action but the reaction in markets seems to indicate that there are a lot of worried people out there, worried because of the fear that the ECB will do little beyond fine words.

In the UK there is plenty to be concerned about too, manufacturing is weaker, Sainsbury's sales are diving and the FCA has turned its focus on to Tesco.

The feelings have manifested themselves in steep losses on the FTSE 100, and until some positive news emerges from somewhere the selling is likely to continue.

ADP numbers from the US offered the briefest of comforts, with the September number bouncing back slightly.

This points the way to a possible rebound in Friday's non-farm number, which should go a long way to soothing frayed nerves.

However, additional US data put the tone back to negative, with the result that the Dow has slipped below 17,000 once more and is testing its long-term uptrend.

October is supposed to be a difficult month, and today fits that narrative nicely, but the longer-term picture could still be viewed as encouraging for equity markets.

US earnings season may have to do the heavy-lifting once again, reminding investors that earnings are still holding up well and that the end of QE doesn't necessarily spell doom for the equity rally.

Update by Brenda Kelly, Senior Market Strategist, IG Index
01-Oct-14 [10:40am] US markets look set to open mixed today, with ISM and ADP data expected to continue to show a modest expansion in the US economy.

In addition, the progress of the first case of Ebola inside the US will be carefully watched.

The last three trading sessions have seen US markets trapped inside a volatile range, with the Dow Jones oscillating around the psychological 17,000 level.

The future direction of stocks is tied into the upcoming earnings season and the state of the US economy.

Futures suggest the Dow Jones will open unchanged at 17,042, with the S&P 500 expected to open 1 point lower at 1,971 and the NASDAQ 4 points lower at 4,045.

The US economic recovery will be in focus today after figures showed that there has been a slowdown in factory orders and the housing market in August.

As a result, today's ISM manufacturing report at 3:00pm BST will give an important indication as to whether US industry has pulled back in September.

Before that at 1:15pm, the ADP report will give the first big indicator of the US labour market in September.

Consumer confidence, which tends to rise with rising employment, was reported to have ticked down yesterday, perhaps reflecting the slowdown in August, but weekly jobless claims averaged fewer than 300k for September which is a typical indicator of an NFP above 200k.

The ideal for stock markets is 'goldilocks' economic data, with strong corporate earnings.

Economic expansion needs to support corporate profitability without risking a tighter Fed and a good set of earnings are still needed to justify lofty valuations.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
01-Oct-14 [10:13am] The FTSE 100 brushed a seven-week low this morning, hit by abysmal Eurozone data and more bad news for UK supermarkets.

Those looking for bad news will not be disappointed, with plenty to go around.

Although markets in the Eurozone are nursing a mixture of small gains and losses, the FTSE is revisiting August lows.

In perhaps the most worrying sign, German manufacturing data was revised lower for September, showing a contraction in the sector and hitting a 15-month low.

French data was maintained at its same grim level, and budget figures, while displaying commendable Gallic disregard for EU deadlines, underscore how deep France's problems are.

UK manufacturing was in retreat as well, slumping to a 17-month low, which pushed the pound back through $1.62.

Dire news from the supermarket sector shows that investors should still be looking elsewhere, as Sainsbury's cuts forecasts for the year and Tesco comes under investigation from the FCA.

Any rally in supermarket shares will be an invitation for fresh selling, after months in which shorters have made hay.

It wasn't a great finish to the third quarter, although the S&P 500 is still holding on to its winning streak, and it looks like the new quarter will be starting on a weak note.

With Hong Kong still in lockdown and Ukraine rumbling in the background, the macro environment is not particularly supportive of equity gains.

Oil prices are another cause for concern, especially since OPEC doesn't seem to be wavering in its production commitments.

Long-term equity trends have come under pressure but the Dow is still showing a distinct reluctance to drop below 17,000.

Ahead of the open, we expect the index to start ten points higher at 17,052.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
01-Oct-14 [9:30am]

US Weakness Weighs on European Markets

Disappointing economic data dragged the US lower last night along with political unrest in Hong Kong.

The supermarket sector is in focus today as Sainsburys cut its full year forecast and Tesco announced that the financial watchdog has launched a full investigation into their accounting losses.

Update by ETX Capital
01-Oct-14 [8:13am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 16.2pts (0.25%) at 6,608.5
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 30pts (0.18%) at 17,044
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 is trading up 3.5pts (0.18%) at 1,971.6
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 5.0pts (0.12%) at 4,046.7
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading down -61pts (-0.38%) at 16,117
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 56.9pts (0.60%) at 9,482.3
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 19.8pts (0.45%) at 4,410.8
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 is trading down -18pts (-0.09%) at 20,846
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 44pts (0.41%) at 10,810
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 8pts (0.25%) at 3,220
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 is trading up 1.0pts (0.24%) at 420.2
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 7.5pts (0.09%) at 8,822.5

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
01-Oct-14 [7:54am] Asian stocks retreated overnight, sending the benchmark index falling for a fourth day of losses.

This came on worse than expected consumer confidence in the US and as Hong Kong braced itself for bigger protests as China pauses for a two day holiday.

US consumer confidence yesterday unexpectedly fell in September, for the first time in five months.

Consumer confidence was hurt by concerns over the job market and expectations that economic growth will slow in coming months.

Crude bounced slightly during early hours of trading after WTI dropped the most in 17 months yesterday, whilst Brent received its steepest drop in a year.

The declines came as ample supple shielded the market from the risk of disruption due to continued conflict in the Middle East.

A survey from Reuters yesterday showed OPEC supply rose to its highest level in two years as Libya boosted its output to 900,000 barrels per day.

A statement from Sainsburys this morning reported a fall in sales for the third quarter in a row as supermarket price wars continued to take their toll on underlying profits.

Like for like sales, excluding fuel, in the three months to the end of September fell 2.8%.

With the added fiasco at Tesco, supermarkets have experienced heavy selling pressure.

Putting aside all the negative headlines, the results are as expected which could see Sainsburys trade slightly higher on the open.

Update by Lee Mumford, Trader, Spreadex
01-Oct-14 [7:29am] US indices fell on Tuesday pressured by shares in the Automobiles & Components, Energy, and Materials sectors.

The S&P 500 (1972.29) remains below its 20 DMA (1992.8 - negative slope), and its 50 DMA (1976.7 - flat slope).

European markets are expected to start on a positive note.

Update by InterTrader
01-Oct-14 [6:23am] Yesterday's negative close ensured that the third quarter ended with a whimper, however, US markets still managed to post their seventh successive positive quarter.

The same could not be said for European markets though which have struggled against a backdrop of low inflation, low growth and rising geopolitical concerns as sanctions against Russia hit economic activity across the region.

The German DAX posted its worst quarter since early 2012, while the CAC 40 posted its first negative quarter since Q2 of the same year.

As we head into Q4, the main question being asked by investors is whether or not the ECB will step into the stimulus vacuum being created by the retreat of the Federal Reserve.

Even the Italy FTSE-Mib and the Spanish IBEX have spent the last three months treading water, finishing in negative territory, as the recovery in Europe stalls.

ECB Under Pressure but Italy and France Remain Uncompetitive

Uncertainty has continued to grow as to whether the ECB has the ability, or the will to do anything further to try and supplement the actions taken last month to help prompt a recovery in prices and growth.

Yesterday's surprise drop in core CPI prices to a five year low of 0.8% would appear to suggest that deflationary pressures are continuing to choke off demand, and are likely to increase the pressure on the ECB at this week's press conference to look at further measures in the coming months.

Today's manufacturing PMI data from Spain, Italy, France and Germany are expected to reinforce this weak narrative, though Spain and Germany are still expected to stay the right side of expansion at 52.3 and 50.3 respectively.

It is the second and third biggest economies in Europe in France and Italy that are the cause for the biggest concern, hobbled by vested interests and political paralysis, as economic activity continues to decline, with figures of 48.8 and 49.5 expected to show contraction in September.

Politicians in both these countries continue to abrogate their responsibilities, imploring the ECB to do more despite the fact that the euro is more than 9% off its highs this year, and interest rates are at record lows.

The fact is even if the ECB undertook full blown QE, which remains unlikely at this stage, unit labour costs in both Italy and France are significantly higher than their equivalents in Germany and Spain, making their economies extremely uncompetitive.

To come into line, prices will have to fall in these countries in any case, and the ECB can't really do too much about that.

Will the Scottish Referendum Have Impacted UK Growth?

In the UK, yesterday's upward revision to Q2 GDP was a welcome boost but it is Q3 we are most concerned about now.

There is a chance that the uncertainty created by a possible Scottish 'Yes' vote may have curbed economic activity in September.

Today we have the latest manufacturing PMI numbers for September and there is a risk that the uncertainty surrounding the Scottish referendum may have prompted a slow down here.

As it was, in August, we saw manufacturing activity slump to a 14 month low at 52.5, though expectations for the September number today are for a modest uptick to 52.7.

In the US, the economic data continues to point to modest expansion but there is a concern that maybe there is a little bit of air coming out of the proverbial balloon after Chicago PMI and consumer confidence disappointed yesterday.

Today's manufacturing ISM for September could well give a good steer towards Friday's payrolls report with attention likely to be paid to the employment component in light of last month's disappointing payrolls number.

Expectations are for the headline number to come in at 58.5, down from August's 59.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
01-Oct-14 [5:26am] US consumer confidence data showed an unexpected decline in September, dropping to 86 against estimates for a figure of 92.2, which pushed the Dow Jones 45 points lower to 17,015.5 yesterday.

At the same time, the S&P Case-Schiller index for US properties indicated the smallest increase in values for 12 months, which could signal renewed struggles for housing.

Following on from this, the FTSE 100 is set to open 15 points lower at 6607 on Wednesday morning.

Investors are being kept on edge by the continuing protests in Hong Kong and dipping economic performance in China.

The bears seem to have brushed off Tuesday's positive UK data, which showed that the economy grew by more than expected in the second quarter, as the ongoing protests remain the focal point of attention.

Pro-democracy crowds involving tens of thousands of people have gathered, blocking parts of Hong Kong.

Whilst things have been fairly quiet of late, many are expecting the largest turnout yet on National Day, a public holiday celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
01-Oct-14 [4:13am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 closed down -45.2pts (-0.68%) at 6,592.3
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones closed down -45pts (-0.26%) at 17,014
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 closed down -7.9pts (-0.40%) at 1,968.1
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 1.6pts (0.04%) at 4,041.7
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed down -62pts (-0.38%) at 16,178
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 6.1pts (0.06%) at 9,425.4
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 32.9pts (0.75%) at 4,391.0
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 closed up 297pts (1.44%) at 20,864
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 97pts (0.91%) at 10,766
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 21pts (0.66%) at 3,212
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 1.7pts (0.41%) at 419.2
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 48.0pts (0.55%) at 8,815.0

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
30-Sep-14 [4:07pm] UK markets are languishing as the quarter draws to an end, but US indices have started the final day of trading for September in a more positive mood.

The FTSE 100 remains firmly in the red, testing the 6600 zone once again.

Again a few buyers have been found, but the index's poor performance versus its global peers is still plain to see.

Profit warnings in the clothing retailers will have damaged a few long-term bulls, especially where Next is concerned.

However, the firm has a history of storming back after a bad performance and it would be unwise to write off Lord Wolfson just yet.

Sainsbury has enjoyed a small bounce ahead of tomorrow's statement, and any sign that the firm is weathering the storm better than its peers will likely see a decent reaction to the upside.

Bargain hunters are active on Wall Street again, but their attempts to pick up some cheap shares are being dampened by the knowledge that the ECB meeting and Non-Farm Payrolls are yet to come.

Old industry and new tech are both big movers in US markets this afternoon.

Ford has fallen by nearly 3%, adding to yesterday's dive, as the impact of its profit warning continues to be felt.

Meanwhile eBay has finally come round to Carl Icahn's view that PayPal will prosper more as a standalone business.

eBay's decision will see the board focus on the online marketplace while leaving the payments firm to fend for itself, but it certainly makes Alibaba's one size fits all approach look odd.

The insurgent Chinese firm might find itself coming under equal pressure in due course to slim down its business model to avoid a dispersion of effort.

Update by Brenda Kelly, Senior Market Strategist, IG Index
30-Sep-14 [4:06pm] European Stock Markets

While Asian markets are still caught up in the uncertainty surrounding Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests, markets in Europe and the US took weak global economic data as a positive for further central bank stimulus.

The Chinese HSBC manufacturing data dropped below expectations to just inside of expansionary territory to 50.2, Japanese industrial production in August fell by -1.5% when a rise was expected and Eurozone annual price growth got even closer to deflation at just 0.3%.

The Fed will end its quantitative easing program next month so markets are in search of an international money-printer to takes its place and support the bull market; the weaker the respective economic data, the greater the chance of QE.

The rather tepid rally off the lows made on Thursday suggest perhaps markets are not convinced international central banks will engage in more stimulus or more to the fact whether it would actually work.

The Spain 35 index was a top performing index in Europe after Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy said he is legally appealing Catalonia's independence referendum on 9 November, calling it anti-democratic.

Uncertainty over a Catalonian referendum has hit Spain much the same way possible Scottish independence did the UK and has halted the Spain 35 in its attempt to push through to new four year highs.

Spain's economy has been faring better than some of the core counties this year after instituting some needed structural reforms.

Catalonia is a big contributor to Spain's economy and its separation would be a major loss to the country, not to mention a costly process.

However, Mr Rajoy could be doing Spain a disservice; polls suggest that 50% of Catalonians would want independence, so not being offered the choice through a referendum may provoke dissent and more uncertainty in financial markets.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 is being led lower by Next which warned on third quarter sales, blaming the weather.

Persimmon, Intu Properties and Travis Perkins took a knock lower from Nationwide reporting a monthly fall in UK house prices.

Intertek who have appointed a new CEO was a top riser, as was RBS which said it will significantly outperform previous guidance of £1bn in bad loan losses.

US Stock Markets

The advance in US markets was stalled in early trading after disappointing housing and confidence data sent shares back and forth in choppy trading.

Shares in eBay were suspended after the company announced it will spin off PayPal into a separate company.

Close attention is being paid to the trial which began yesterday between AIG shareholders and former Chief Executive Hank Greenberg and the US government, including the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury, over the handling of AIG's 2008 bailout.

Should the terms of the bailout be found to be illegal, it could have wide-ranging implications for past and future bailouts, and it is for that reason the US government will be determined to win the case.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
30-Sep-14 [2:34pm]

Which Sectors are Protected from the Relentless Rise of the Internet?

With many firms struggling to grow their top line, IG talks to Andy Brough from Schroders about which UK sectors might be worth looking at.

In particular, Mr Brough seems to be looking at sectors that are partially protected from the move into the internet such as housing and automotive.

Update by IG Index
30-Sep-14 [10:31am] As police pulled back from an offensive with protestors in Hong Kong yesterday, US markets were able to recover early losses and look set to continue the recovery this morning.

Futures are pointing to a higher open ahead of September's Chicago PMI and consumer confidence data, with the Dow Jones 49 points higher at 17,120, the S&P 500 expected 7 points higher at 1,984 and the NASDAQ 14 points higher at 4,061.

Having made new highs on 19 September, the day of the Scottish referendum and Alibaba's IPO, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 have pulled back by around 2.5%.

Whether this correction continues rests on ADP, ISM and NFP data this week and the combined implication for the timing of the first US rate hike.

Strong economic data is a double edged-sword as it improves the chance of the economy withstanding a rate-hike but also likely brings forward the timing of when that rate hike will take place.

If the correction in main benchmarks does come to an end, whether it can translate into new all-time highs may need to wait until next week when third quarter earnings season kicks into gear.

Shares in Ford Motor Company dropped 7.5% yesterday after the company slashed its full year profit forecast by as much as $1.5bn.

Fresh from its purchase of the UK's Alliance Boots, Walgreens will report earnings today and is expected to earn $0.74 per share on revenue of $19.02bn.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
30-Sep-14 [10:26am] In mid-morning trading, the FTSE 100 is up two points, at 6648, as the protests in Hong Kong continue to hang over the market.

In London, traders are on tenterhooks as all eyes are firmly on the Far East.

The London market is holding up relatively well considering stocks in Hong Kong lost over 1% as protesters continue to clash with riot police, while HSBC and Standard Chartered are still suffering because of the unrest.

Royal Bank of Scotland announced that its loan impairments would be significantly lower than estimated, and this could be the turning point where toxic assets become good.

Interdealer broker ICAP has lost close to 2% in early trading, as declining volatility and a risk adverse stance from big banks has hit revenues.

Wolseley shares are trading higher after the building materials supplier posted a healthy set of figures.

Its profits jumped by 52%, the divided has been increased and the icing on the cake was the £250 million share buyback scheme.

We have heard of companies blaming poor revenue on bad weather, now Next is blaming soft sales on good weather, as the stock is down 4%.

In the US, we are expecting the Dow to open 20 points higher at 17,091, as US index futures have pulled back some of last night's losses.

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 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.

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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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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 - 23 Sep 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 23 Sep 2014 16 Sep 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1.5:1 15,475 23,369 -7,894 135,500 -36,084
S&P 500 Index 1:1.1 -680 11,231 -11,911 127,233 -90,294
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2.5:1 12,708 13,649 -941 75,568 -36,386
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 5.9:1 33,721 35,535 -1,814 102,403 5,407

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 01-Oct-14

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