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
06-Mar-15 [10:33am] The open of US markets on Friday is set to be dominated by the results of the monthly unemployment figures released before the opening bell.

Expectations have moderated slightly from January but job gains are expected to remain broadly strong and underpin the strength of the US economy and its divergence from the rest of the world.

US markets finished higher on Thursday following the announcement that Eurozone QE will begin on Monday.

The uplift in US stocks was definitively more subdued than that of Europe and the UK which is understandable given they are not direct beneficiaries of the ECB's latest policy.

The sub-par rally on Thursday has given rise to a modest pullback with US stocks expected to open lower on Friday.

Wage Growth More Important than Jobs

A headline number under 200k for non-farm payrolls could be a major catalyst for US equities to catch up with their QE-boosted European peers given the implications for a later US rate hike.

If the NFP falls between 200k and 300k, the direction the market takes may be more reflective of the report's internals, especially wage growth.

Above 300k would be unexpected given the misses in ADP and weekly jobless claims and could be a major headwind for US stocks despite the positive sign it would give for the US economy.

Wage growth accelerated in January, should this turn out to be a one-off prompted by a hike in minimum wages across multiple US states, then the timetable for a US rate-hike could be pushed back to the tail end of 2015 in a boost to equities.

Earnings are expected from Staples, Foot Locker and Big Lots on Friday.

Futures suggest that the S&P 500 will open 2 points lower at 2,099, with the Dow Jones expected to open 12 points lower at 18,123 and the NASDAQ 100 2 points lower at 4,450.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
06-Mar-15 [10:07am] European equity markets are treading water awaiting the latest set of volatility-stimulating US non-farm payrolls.

Equity markets were boosted by the bullish optimism of ECB president Mario Draghi yesterday, with indices rising as the euro sank.

Now that a start date to the Eurozone's QE policy has been announced this could signal the start of traders refocusing their attention back to the UK.

The Budget is on 18 March, only a short distance away, and even more importantly the volatility that a hung parliament would bring, if no clear majority is achieved in May's general election, does not appear to be being factored in by the FTSE yet.

This morning's action has been considerably more lacklustre as US economic data looms on the radar and European traders take their foot off the gas.

Although currency markets are still factoring in a third-quarter interest rate rise from the Fed, it is data like today's non-farm payrolls that will need to convince in order for that timeline to avoid being pushed a little further down the road.

Speculation that Weir Group, the Scottish based engineering group, is attracting more than just admiring glances from US equity consortiums, who might be tempted to pay up to £28 a share, have seen the company jump to the top of the FTSE performers list this morning.

George Osborne appears to have been enjoying one of the investment communities favourite past times as he has embarked on some hindsight trading with the UK taxpayers' position in RBS.

The appetite for European investments by Chinese funds continues to be strong as Fosun International has taken up a 5% stake in UK travel operator Thomas Cook, causing its shares to shoot 17% higher.

It is the first Friday of the month and once again European markets appear to be marking time in anticipation of the volatility that today's non-farm payrolls figure might bring.

US equity markets have not been as buoyant as their European counterparts over the last week, and a confidence-boosting set of good figures might be what they require in order to regain momentum.

Corporate data has been a little thin on the ground of late, but with next Tuesday's annual Apple shareholders meeting likely to shed light on its outlook and plans for the rest of the year, this could be set for a boost in the near future.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start five points lower.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
06-Mar-15 [8:40am]

Stock Markets Remain Near Highs Ahead of NFP



There has been significant volatility after the ECB QE statement, though equities are treading carefully ahead of the latest Nonfarm Payrolls figures.

The FTSE has bounced towards 6964, with the DAX hitting fresh records and the Nikkei trading higher as the yen weakens.



Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development, CMC Markets
06-Mar-15 [8:05am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading down -6.4pts (-0.09%) at 6,947.8
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 1pts (0.00%) at 18,128
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 is trading down -0.2pts (-0.01%) at 2,101.0
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 1.2pts (0.03%) at 4,451.1
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 165pts (0.88%) at 19,003
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 21.6pts (0.19%) at 11,516.3
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 0.4pts (0.01%) at 4,955.8
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 13pts (0.06%) at 22,409
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 26pts (0.23%) at 11,151
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 3pts (0.08%) at 3,617
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 is trading down -0.2pts (-0.04%) at 488.3
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 13.0pts (0.14%) at 9,047.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
06-Mar-15 [7:33am] US indices rose on Thursday led by shares in the Food & Staples Retailing, Utilities and Insurance sectors.

The S&P 500 (2101.04) remains above its 20 DMA (2093.7 - positive slope), and 50 DMA (2062.2 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a negative note.

Update by InterTrader
06-Mar-15 [6:04am] For a central bank that says it doesn't target the exchange rate the European Central Bank, and its President Mario Draghi in particular, has done a very good job in pushing the euro sharply lower over the course of the last nine months.

Just minutes after Mr Draghi had finished his opening comments the euro was pushing up to the highs of the day, after the ECB President upgraded the banks growth forecasts for 2015, and struck a much more optimistic tone on the European economy at the same time as revising up the inflation forecast for 2016 to 1.5% from 1.3%.

This upbeat tone served to cause equity markets to wobble a little initially, until he revealed that the banks bond buying program would include the buying of bonds with negative yields down to -0.2%, the level of the current deposit rate.

This had the effect of cutting the rug out from under the rebound in the euro, sending it sharply lower, as well as propelling European equities strongly higher, back towards multi year highs.

Is the Fed Still on Course to Raise Rates?

While European equities continued to find a fair wind, US markets continue to struggle under their own weight amidst concerns that the recovery in the US might well be starting to tail off somewhat, after a raft of some rather underwhelming economic data this week.

US investors still seem intent on believing that the US Federal Reserve remains on course to raise rates sometime in the next six months after the strong end to 2014 in the US labour market.

There remains a nagging problem which it appears a lot of people in the market appear to be ignoring, and it involves falling prices, as well as a reluctance to spend on the part of US consumer, despite the fall in energy prices.

When you also add the prospect that job losses are starting to rise again and you have to question whether the Federal Reserve would be wise in pushing rates up, at a time when everyone else is cutting theirs.

This fear is probably what prompted Chicago Fed President and FOMC voting member Charles Evans to argue this week that the Fed should wait until early next year before raising rates.

American Jobs Data

Weekly jobless claims have come in above 300k for three of the last four weeks in a sign that job losses in the manufacturing sector could well be starting to bite as US oil producers cut back.

This week's ADP also pointed to fewer jobs being added on a monthly basis, despite positive revisions for 2014.

In this context, today's February employment report is likely to be important in the context of the direction of travel of how many jobs are being added on a month on month basis.

Expectations are for 235k new jobs for February, down slightly from the 257k new jobs in January and for the unemployment rate to fall to 5.6%, but it is likely to be the average hourly earnings data that is likely to be front and centre on most people's radars as it was last month.

A sharp jump in the year on year number to 2.2% in January caused a great deal of bullishness, with respect to rising wages, but a large part of the rise was as a result of double digit minimum wage increases filtering through into the numbers from up to 23 US states.

Expectations are for the year on year number to slip back to 2.1%, with a month on month rise of 0.2%.

The US trade deficit for January is expected to shrink to -$41.2bn from -$46.6bn.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
06-Mar-15 [5:22am] European equities are set to drift lower ahead of today's non-farm payrolls.

After yesterday's unleashing of QE by the ECB, the bulls had a nice rally off the back of it, but as usual there's a little trepidation ahead of the big jobs figure.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to 320,000, with factory orders unexpectedly falling by 0.2% in January.

However, there were modest gains as a string of corporate mergers was enough to spark a rally in US equities with the Dow Jones gaining 29 points to 18,131.

US traders turned cautious on concerns that another batch of good data will firm up the possibility of a rate hike.

The US has been pumping out +200k jobs now for the last 11 months and if we see a pickup in wage growth as well, the bulls may get nervous that the Fed will start prepping markets for a summer rate hike at its March meeting.

The consensus expectation is that the US employers added 235,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate expected to drop to 5.6%.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
06-Mar-15 [4:05am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 closed up 53.1pts (0.77%) at 6,954.2
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 27pts (0.15%) at 18,127
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 3.2pts (0.15%) at 2,101.2
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 6.5pts (0.15%) at 4,449.9
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 144pts (0.77%) at 18,838
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 95.5pts (0.84%) at 11,494.7
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 39.0pts (0.79%) at 4,955.4
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 closed up 239pts (1.08%) at 22,396
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 75pts (0.68%) at 11,125
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 27pts (0.75%) at 3,614
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 4.3pts (0.89%) at 488.5
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 32.5pts (0.36%) at 9,034.0

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
05-Mar-15 [4:37pm] ECB-inspired afternoon resilience in European equity markets drags the FTSE ever closer to the 7000 level.

Once again the Bank of England posted interest rate and asset purchasing schemes that were unchanged.

This has now become such an unsurprising event that one interested party sent out their analysis of the event fifteen minutes prior to its release.

Always more likely to stir up interest was today's European Central Bank press conference in Cyprus.

Mario Draghi and his team have confirmed that the new Eurozone QE would start on 9 March.

Less clear was exactly how this would work.

Considering the Eurozone nations have only sold €50 billion of debt a month and the remit was to purchase €60 billion a month, the shortfall will need to be made up in the secondary market.

If the ECB has to start haggling with banks for their existing positions in Eurozone sovereign debt, this could become a costly and complicated process very quickly.

When you consider that 14.46 index points were taken out of the FTSE because of such heavy weights as HSBC and Rio Tinto going ex-dividend, the early-morning charge to all-time highs and the mythical 7000 level was quite impressive.

Just ahead of next month's merger, both Aviva and Friends Life have wowed the markets with their expectation-beating full-year figures seeing shares in both over 7% higher heading into the close.

With the synergies and cost savings anticipated by this merger expected to add up to £225 million a year, this momentum could continue for some time.

Interestingly, the London Stock Exchange also posted its full-year figures, showing a 19% jump in its pre-tax profits due to the abundance of equity IPOs last year.

In fact, the volume of companies seeking a placing on the stock exchange was the largest since 2007, and integration with Clearnet and the Russell indexes have achieved increased cost-saving synergies.

Today's US unemployment claims came in higher than expected, but as they were released at the same time as the start of the latest ECB press conference few investors took note.

In the final run up to the US non-farm payroll figures US equity markets continue to look jittery regardless of the bullish mood going on in Europe.

Somewhat out of sync with the majority of US corporations, Staples is due to post its fourth-quarter figures just ahead of tomorrow's open.

Abbvie has continued its spending spree with the $21 billion purchase of cancer drug manufacturer Pharmacyclics.

Wholesalers Costco surprised the markets with second-quarter figures reflecting a 29% increase in earnings, adding 2% in early trading.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
05-Mar-15 [10:47am] There was a distinct divergence between US and European markets yesterday with European shares rallying and US sinking with the Dow off 100 points.

There was a late rally in Europe with equities underpinned by a weak euro and quantitative easing kicking off today.

The US dollar index broke to new multi-year highs, leaving US companies with the prospect of lower foreign earnings and a hike in interest rates to deal with.

Stocks Wait for the European Central Bank

On Thursday, US stocks are set to open essentially unchanged from yesterday's closing levels with the eventual direction likely to be heavily determined by the outcome of the meeting of the European Central Bank.

Investors will be looking for clues as to the expected length of the ECB's QE program and how it will determine when to stop, how the purchases will be carried out, which assets will be bought and whether there will be enough assets to buy.

The ECB may choose to adjust interest rates now that QE has come in and it will be updating growth and inflation forecasts.

There is also the issue of Greece and the ECB's arguably politicized participation in that ongoing saga.

There are so many variables surrounding the ECB's meeting that the market may well end up being pulled in multiple directions making little headway up or down.

The clearest variables the central bank could use to signal its intensions to the market will be through adjustments to interest rates and growth/inflation targets.

Raising the deposit rate back out of negative territory and/or increasing the growth forecast could be interpreted as minimising the monetary easing and be positive for the euro and negative for stocks.

Keeping NIRP on the deposit rate and reducing the inflation forecast could be seen as more aggressive easing and be euro-negative and good for stocks.

Earnings are expected from Costco, Kroger and Martha Stewart on Thursday.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open unchanged at 2,098, with the Dow Jones expected to open 7 points higher at 18,103 and the NASDAQ 100 unchanged at 4,445.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
05-Mar-15 [10:33am] In mid-morning trading, the FTSE 100 is marginally higher as traders eagerly await updates from the BoE and the ECB.

Stocks in London are creeping higher as the press conference from the European Central Bank is only a few hours away, and it will provide the long-awaited details about the quantitative easing programme.

Central banks have been the driving force behind the booming stock markets over the past few years and now it is the ECB's turn to flood the financial system with money.

Eurozone equity markets are highly dependent on the stimulus package from the ECB and traders will be looking for Mario Draghi to give the green light signalling the next round of buying.

Aviva announced a 30% increase in final dividend which is a good barometer of how successful Mark Wilson's restructuring scheme has been in the past two years.

However, Mr Wilson won't be resting on his laurels as the transformation of Aviva is still underway, especially with the Friends Life acquisition yet to be completed.

Shares in Admiral are lower this morning after the company revealed a 4% drop in pre-tax profits.

The insurer's drop in profits was for the right reasons as the investment in its US business was to blame for not posting another set of record numbers.

The London Stock Exchange reaped the rewards of a strong stock market, higher trading volumes and a jump in IPOs helping the company achieve double-digit increases in adjusted pre-tax profit and revenue.

Across the pond we are expecting the Dow Jones to open unchanged from yesterday's close.

The US index futures are expected to remain muted in the run up to the ECB press conference where Mario Draghi will deliver the details of the bond buying programme.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
05-Mar-15 [8:04am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 15.2pts (0.22%) at 6,916.3
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 14pts (0.07%) at 18,114
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 is trading up 1.7pts (0.08%) at 2,099.7
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 3.5pts (0.08%) at 4,446.9
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 99pts (0.53%) at 18,793
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 30.3pts (0.27%) at 11,429.5
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 10.9pts (0.22%) at 4,927.3
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 45pts (0.20%) at 22,202
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 25pts (0.23%) at 11,075
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 7pts (0.20%) at 3,594
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 is trading up 0.7pts (0.14%) at 484.9
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading down -11.0pts (-0.12%) at 8,990.5

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


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

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

European markets are expected to start on a negative note.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
05-Mar-15 [4:04am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 closed up 2.3pts (0.03%) at 6,901.1
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones closed down -93pts (-0.51%) at 18,101
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 closed down -8.2pts (-0.39%) at 2,098.0
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed down -13.8pts (-0.31%) at 4,443.4
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed down -37pts (-0.20%) at 18,694
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 98.1pts (0.87%) at 11,399.2
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 36.3pts (0.74%) at 4,916.4
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 closed up 157pts (0.71%) at 22,157
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 11pts (0.10%) at 11,050
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 24pts (0.67%) at 3,587
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 3.7pts (0.77%) at 484.2
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 26.0pts (0.29%) at 9,001.5

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial

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.


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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 - 24 Feb 2015


Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 24 Feb 2015 17 Feb 2015 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 2.1:1 21,046 24,737 -3,691 116,331 101
S&P 500 Index 1.2:1 1,908 3,964 -2,056 151,768 8,133
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2.4:1 12,060 11,553 507 86,451 2,484
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 6.7:1 47,784 49,511 -1,727 120,512 5,015


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 06-Mar-15

For related articles also see:





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