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
23-Oct-14 [3:58pm] Heading into the close the FTSE 100 remains flat, as the benefits of being surrounded by buoyant equity markets have been countered by the Tesco-led food retail sell off.

Having seen 7 points taken out of the index due to companies going ex-dividend today, the FTSE started on the back foot.

Tesco's belated quarterly figures have been met with cynicism as traders speculate that the now £263 million cost of bookkeeping errors could easily be a number surpassed in the weeks ahead.

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis has battled the reputational damage with a plethora of promises that the food retailer will do well to meet.

The almost 8% fall in the company's shares has seen both competing food retailers and producers fall along with it, although at a slightly more sedate rate.

Market expectations of job cuts at Lloyds have increased in the run-up to this weekend's latest bank stress test and the release of next week's quarterly figures.

Caterpillar has given some tangible credence to the notion that the US recovery is still on track with its better-than-expected figures and improving outlook.

Of the major US companies to have reported so far, over 70% have beaten market expectations and US traders will be hoping for more of the same as they wait for both Amazon and Microsoft to post after today's close.

Slightly denting the good corporate picture being created in the US have been today's US economic data releases.

Rising unemployment claims along with weaker-than-expected flash manufacturing figures have only slightly taken the shine off rises in all three of the major US equity indices.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
23-Oct-14 [3:41pm] European Stock Markets

Shares in Europe were trading positively this afternoon; not from rumours of stimulus, but rather more promising fundamental data from China and Germany, with purchasing managers indicating a pickup in manufacturing in October.

UK stocks fell in early trading after disappointing earnings from Tesco, Tullow Oil, Unilever and Foxtons but rallied back up again on strong German manufacturing data before stalling out for a second day at fortnightly highs.

China's HSBC manufacturing PMI came in at 50.4, slightly better than expected.

The slowdown in China is very much still happening but today's PMI alongside the better than expected third quarter GDP growth has raised faith in the central government's ability to guide the economy towards a soft landing with a series of 'mini' stimulus efforts.

Rating agency Standard and Poor's have warned that the Eurozone crisis is entering a 'stubborn phase of subdued growth' and looking at the latest PMIs from France it's hard to disagree.

The situation in France is looking fairly abysmal after today's PMI numbers as well as the very real prospect that its budget will be disallowed by the EU.

As the largest economy and the widely considered powerhouse of the Eurozone, it was Germany's PMI numbers that truly counted.

Such is the importance of Germany's economy; the Eurozone composite PMI expanded in October despite declines in France.

Foxtons shares dropped off a cliff after announcing a profit warning due to cooling London house prices.

Foxtons' London-focus meant that the estate agent benefited the most on the way up in house prices but stands to lose the most on the way down.

The rise in UK house prices has been very much supportive of the UK recovery especially for job growth in construction and real estate; this profit warning could also be a warning for the UK economy.

US Stock Markets

Earnings in the US were much more promising today led by a stellar report from Caterpillar while General Motors and Eli Lilly impressed as the unemployment picture continued to improve after this week's jobless claims.

The four week average of jobless claims hit a fourteen year low indicating further improvement in the US labour market.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Oct-14 [1:42pm] European stocks remain little changed as investors take to the side-lines to analyse a string of economic data and earnings.

German Flash manufacturing PMI figures came in much better than the 49.6 benchmark, exceeding estimates with a reading of 51.8.

The unexpected figure was the best since July after economists had anticipated a second month contraction.

This has contributed to gains in the DAX this morning which is currently trading up 25 points to 8964.

Heading into the afternoon, the FTSE is drifting slightly into the red.

Supermarkets were once again in the limelight after Tesco reported a 92% fall in profits.

They reported a bigger than expected gap in its finances this morning after finding accounting mistakes had gone back further than initially anticipated.

This has led to the Chairman, Sir Richard Broadbent, standing down after the mishap.

Data this afternoon showed that more Americans filed for jobless claims, coming in at 283,000, much higher than the 269,000 estimate.

However, the market remained unfazed, with futures in the Dow Jones on track to open 130 points higher.

US stock futures have advanced during the premarket after decent earnings from Caterpillar and Boston Scientific boosted sentiment.

Update by Lee Mumford, Trader, Spreadex
23-Oct-14 [10:32am] Rating agency Standard and Poor's have warned that the Eurozone crisis is entering a 'stubborn phase of subdued growth'.

However, signs of a turnaround in Germany and China after October's PMI reports have alleviated some global growth concerns and shares in the US look like opening higher.

China's HSBC manufacturing PMI came in at 50.4, slightly better than expected.

The slowdown in China is very much still happening, but today's PMI alongside the better than expected third quarter GDP growth has raised faith in the central government's ability to guide the economy towards a soft landing with a series of 'mini' stimulus efforts.

The situation in France is looking fairly abysmal after today's PMI numbers as well as the very real prospect that its budget will be disallowed by the EU.

Markets are reacting to the PMIs from Germany which have caused the Eurozone composite PMI to expand in September.

The Markit Manufacturing PMI released in the US is expected to slow in October, a miss may undo jubilation from Germany's numbers as it would exacerbate fears that the weakness in Europe is translating to the US.

Earnings are expected today from Comcast, AbbVie, Caterpillar, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Continental Airlines.

Oil prices trading at four year lows will significantly reduce airlines costs which they are able to pass onto lower prices for customers and investors will be looking for that to be reflected in strong results today.

AbbVie are reporting that they have paid Shire $1.6bn to cancel the agreed merger thanks to a change in US tax rules.

Giant tech companies Microsoft and Amazon report after the close.

Futures suggest that the S&P 500 will open 14 points higher at 1,941, with the Dow Jones expected to open 126 points higher at 16,587 and the NASDAQ 26 points higher at 3,974.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Oct-14 [10:02am] We are fighting to come back to positive territory this morning after a sharp sell off on the open.

The FTSE is currently down 20 points at 6380, having bottomed out at 6313.

Macro data has come thick and fast this morning.

French business confidence was stable, breaking a five month downward streak, whilst PMI figures pointed to a stagnant fourth quarter.

German PMI was the saviour as the Markit PMI figure showed a rise in Europe's engine room, German manufacturing, certainly a comforting thought to European bulls.

This even managed to briefly push the DAX above 9000 for the first time in two weeks.

Back in the UK, the weaker-than-expected retail sales for September have been blamed on good weather, a combination most of us will take.

US markets took a turn lower yesterday as inflation disappointed, and oil traded below $81 to continue its pursuit of multi-year lows, while events in Ottawa added some geopolitical risk into the mix.

Boeing led the Dow Jones lower as 787 costs outweighed higher earnings.

Today pre-market we watch for 3M, economic bell-weather Caterpillar, and post-market we have Microsoft.

At the moment, the slight weakness in Europe is pushing the opening call for the Dow lower by 25 points to 16,595.

Update by Will Hedden, Sales Trader, IG Index
23-Oct-14 [9:34am]

Stocks Dip after Shooting at the Canadian Parliament

A shooting at the Canadian Parliament encouraged a sell off in US stocks, with weak oil prices continuing to weigh heavily on the energy sector.

Tesco is under pressure once again after increasing the estimated size of its accounting black hole to £263m.

Update by David Papier, Sales Trader, ETX Capital
23-Oct-14 [8:07am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading down -27.1pts (-0.43%) at 6,330.3
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones is trading down -3pts (-0.02%) at 16,499
Neutral Stocks The S&P 500 is trading flat at 1,931.0
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -0.8pts (-0.02%) at 3,954.1
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 12pts (0.08%) at 15,120
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading down -9.4pts (-0.11%) at 8,853.8
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading down -9.0pts (-0.22%) at 4,063.3
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 is trading down -158pts (-0.82%) at 19,101
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 2pts (0.02%) at 10,162
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 6pts (0.20%) at 2,980
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 is trading down -2.4pts (-0.61%) at 391.0
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 2.0pts (0.02%) at 8,463.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
23-Oct-14 [7:43am] US indices declined on Wednesday pressured by shares in the Energy, Transportation and Diversified Financials sectors.

The S&P 500 (1927.11) remains below its 20 DMA (1930 - negative slope), and its 50 DMA (1966.7 - flat slope).

European markets are expected to start on a negative note.

Update by InterTrader
23-Oct-14 [7:34am] Asian shares retreated during on Thursday as negative sentiment from Wall Street spilled into the markets.

Despite a slight increase in flash HSBC manufacturing PMI to 50.4, this was overshadowed and failed to impress investors.

The Nikkei ended the session relatively flat after managing to regain some early losses however the Hang Seng ended lower.

Heading into today's session, earnings released from troubled supermarket Tesco are taking the spotlight prior to the European open.

As expected, earnings released showed investors that Q1 sales and profits fell sharply.

Profit fell over 90% from the same period last year whilst like-for-like sales fell 4.4%.

Despite Tesco initially estimating that profit for the first half of the year was overstated by £250m, this has now increased to £263m.

With the share price almost halved in a year, it will be interesting to see if this will continue to fall after today's disappointing figures.

European markets are set to open on a negative note this morning with the FTSE 100 looking to open some 50 points lower whist the DAX is currently down 65.

Update by Sam Fox, Trader, Spreadex
23-Oct-14 [6:34am] European stock markets are set to decline on the open following weak overnight sessions in the US and Asia.

Despite Europe's best efforts at making a definitive move off the recent lows, the bulls are set to be thwarted as today's open should wipe out all of yesterday's gains.

Although the apocalyptic visions from last week have abated, there's too much lingering uncertainty preventing bargain hunters from stepping in, so we may see a period of consolidation until we get some sort of clarity.

Today's PMI data deluge from Europe could give equities a nudge higher if they continue to deteriorate and put additional pressure on the ECB to introduce full quantitative easing.

Data from the US suggested that the cost of living unexpectedly rose in September, with investor sentiment turning negative after the previous few days of rally, so the Dow Jones lost 125 points to 16,503.

It remains to be seen whether corporate results can be the main driver going forward considering that more than 70% of the companies that have posted earnings so far have topped forecasts.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
23-Oct-14 [6:28am] Earlier this week the latest Chinese economic data didn't really do anything much to assuage concerns that the world's second largest economy was starting to lose traction.

In particular, Q3 GDP slipped back to 7.3%, below the Chinese government's 7.5% GDP target.

This morning we saw further evidence that manufacturing activity remains muted, with the latest HSBC manufacturing PMI number for October improving slightly to 50.4.

European PMIs Set to Pile More Pressure on ECB

The recent rebounds in European stock markets have been largely predicated on expectations of further stimulus from the European Central Bank as we head into year end.

These expectations are set to be reinforced later this morning, regardless of their credibility and denials from the ECB, when we get the latest manufacturing and services PMI readings for September from France and Germany, with further deteriorations in economic activity likely.

Both manufacturing and services PMI numbers for France are expected to show further weakness, declining to 48.6 and 48.2 respectively, from 48.8 and 48.4 previously.

The economic malaise is also expected to be reflected in the German numbers, with the manufacturing sector showing further weakness from 49.9 to 49.6, while services are expected to remain fairly robust, albeit declining from 55.7 to 55.

On a slightly positive note, quarterly Spanish unemployment is set to show a fall from 24.5% to 24.1% which is certainly a small victory, albeit a fairly hollow one, and the lowest number since Jan 2012.

Will MPC Dissenters Fall Back into Line if Data Weakens?

Yesterday's Bank of England minutes would appear to confirm that like the Federal Reserve, that policymakers at the Bank of England, bar two exceptions, have seen concerns about the economy in Europe translate into a cooling of expectations of an interest rate rise in the UK until well into next year.

It wouldn't be surprising given the recent fall in CPI inflation and the continued weakness of economic data in Europe if we saw at least one of the two dissenters on the MPC fall back into line at next month's November meeting, especially if economic data here in the UK continues to soften in the next couple of weeks.

We could well see further evidence of that later this morning with the latest September retail sales data, which could show a 0.1% decline from the 0.4% rise seen in August.

In the comparable BRC figures for September, we saw a 2.8% decline due to the unseasonably warm weather which if replicated in today's ONS numbers will likely increase concerns about a slowdown in consumer spending in the lead-up to winter.

Typically these sorts of seasonal effects have a habit of playing catch-up and the recent wet and windy weather seen in October could well prompt a bounce back for UK retailers, but nonetheless a slowdown here will reinforce a weaker narrative in Q4 growth expectations.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Oct-14 [4:07am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 closed down -45.9pts (-0.72%) at 6,357.4
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones closed down -130pts (-0.78%) at 16,502
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 closed down -14.5pts (-0.75%) at 1,931.0
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed down -28.3pts (-0.71%) at 3,954.9
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 39pts (0.26%) at 15,108
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 closed down -84.6pts (-0.95%) at 8,863.2
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 closed down -32.5pts (-0.79%) at 4,072.3
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 closed up 239pts (1.26%) at 19,259
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 closed down -4pts (-0.04%) at 10,160
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed down -32pts (-1.06%) at 2,974
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 closed down -3.3pts (-0.83%) at 393.4
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 21.5pts (0.25%) at 8,461.0

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
22-Oct-14 [4:13pm] UK and European markets are still positive as the session winds down, but for the US, the surge witnessed on Tuesday has come to a gentle halt.

The 6400 level still remains something of a hurdle for the FTSE 100, even if this is currently more of a consolidation than the end of the jump higher that began last week.

GlaxoSmithKline results, which included an uplift to the full-year dividend, helped the market to hang on to its gains for the day, dispelling some of the gloom from British American Tobacco's cautious update this morning.

Firm reasons to buy have been lacking and given the magnitude of the upward move in recent sessions most traders are now asking themselves where the next positive catalyst is coming from.

On the continent, the DAX's move back above 8900 puts it firmly in bullish mode, and a weekly close above here would put additional upside towards 9100 into the frame once again.

Gains on Wall Street have been tentative at best, despite earnings reports from the likes of Boeing that struck a more positive tone than those released 24 hours earlier.

Yahoo is racing away after its well-received numbers last night, but for now a cautious mid-week pause is the order of the day.

Even so, additional confident earnings numbers could still provide the basis for another move higher, with the S&P 500 still on course to challenge its long-term uptrend around the 1960 mark.

Ten-year treasuries are still holding up around the 2.2% yield, although the slightly stronger CPI number will have tempted a few more buyers in on expectations that the Fed is still mulling a mid-2015 rate hike.

Update by Brenda Kelly, Chief Market Strategist, IG Index
22-Oct-14 [3:58pm] European Stock Markets

Shares in Europe were mostly rising today although not at the frenetic pace of yesterday, with the European Central Bank denying both rumours of further stimulus and bank stress test results, leaving investors undecided whether to believe the rumour or the denial.

The FTSE 100 stalled out at the short term top made on the 10 October around 6,400, digesting ECB rumours and mixed earnings from British American Tobacco and GSK.

Top UK banks were largely able to brush off rumours that banks in Europe would fail ECB stress tests when results are released on Sunday.

The ECB had to officially deny two reports; one relating to plans for additional asset purchases and another that eleven banks would fail the central bank's stress test.

Spanish newswire Efe listed eleven banks who had reportedly failed the ECB bank stress test including banks in Cyprus, Portugal, Italy and Greece and the corresponding bank's share prices fell on the news.

The shares remained under pressure despite the ECB's denial because if there were to be any bank failures it'd most likely come from the PIIGS so that makes the story quite plausible.

The Bank of England remained on hold as expected according to the latest minutes; voting 7-2 to keep rates unchanged and 9-0 to keep the asset purchase facility at current levels.

GBP/USD and UK stocks head south following the release because while the voting was as expected, the minutes themselves were rather dovish with members citing multiple risks to the UK recovery.

Supermarkets were all falling today thanks to a combination of the Kantar data pointing to slowing sales and the Waitrose Head Mark Price calling the business model of Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons 20 years out of date.

Spirit Pubs showed a 60% profit increase after agreeing to a takeover offer from Greene King whereas Heineken who turned down an offer from SAB Miller missed estimates blaming bad weather.

US Stock Markets

Shares in the US edged higher in early trading thanks to better corporate earnings including strong results from Yahoo! and Boeing which raised its outlook for the year as well as further evidence of waning inflation from September's CPI easing pressure on the Fed to hike rates.

Higher food prices but lower energy costs contributed towards CPI remaining at 1.7% annual growth during September.

Inflation in the US is showing no real sign of wage pressures thanks to the low-paid nature of a lot of the jobs that have been created since the financial crisis.

With conflicting price direction coming from food and energy prices; US consumers may probably won't have any more disposable wealth and retail sales could remain stagnant.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
22-Oct-14 [3:50pm]

Underperforming US Energy Sector May Continue to Slide

With the energy sector significantly underperforming the wider S&P 500, IG talks to Trevor Neil about how the sector has broken below its trading channel and may continue to see further weakness.

Interestingly, the technology sector's outperformance is seeing weakening momentum, which may indicate an opportunity to buy, whilst finance is going from strength to strength.

Update by 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.

Advert: Stock Market Spread Betting, sponsored by
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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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 - 14 Oct 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 14 Oct 2014 7 Oct 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1.5:1 11,668 17,171 -5,503 118,467 -13,805
S&P 500 Index 1:1 -314 -7,327 7,013 129,557 1,519
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2.5:1 12,850 13,737 -887 80,222 5,208
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 3:1 20,220 19,267 953 93,285 -4,757

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 23-Oct-14

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