A spread/price comparison table looking at the 'spread size' and minimum stakes for the most popular stock market indices.
Typical In-Hours Spread Sizes
FTSE 100 (UK 100) Daily
Dow Jones (Wall St) Daily
DAX 30 (Germany 30) Daily
S&P 500 (SPX 500) Daily
NASDAQ 100 (US Tech 100) Daily
CAC 40 (France 40) Daily
ASX 200 (Australia 200) Daily
Japan 225 Daily
Hong Kong Daily
Stock Indices - Minimum Stake
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
[4:08pm] European equity markets have collapsed as baffled traders try to comprehend Syriza’s latest stalling tactic, this time in the shape of a belated referendum.
Considering that both Greece and its creditors ultimately want the same thing - Greece to remain in the eurozone - their inability to reach an agreement is all the more staggering.
What has left traders even more perplexed is the decision of the ruling Syriza party to hold a referendum on a proposal that will have been removed from the table before voting even starts.
The ability of the average Greek citizen to fully comprehend these two highly technical documents is unlikely and this action smacks of Syriza shirking its responsibilities and passing the buck onto the Greek population.
Today has also seen the start of capital controls and queues outside Greece’s ATM machines now snake around the block creating a succession of disgruntled conga lines.
Terrorism fears have seen TUI AG and International Consolidated Airlines head up a list of tourism firms selling off and arguably having more of a direct effect on the FTSE than Grexit.
Starting a short week with the prospect of 4 July celebrations at the end would normally see US traders bouncing into the office.
Once again though, Europe is doing its best to knock any sense of optimism out of traders with an almost incomprehensible proposal from Greece and a Teutonic stubbornness from the creditors.
As a consequence of this Friday’s markets are closed and the all-important non-farm payrolls will be announced on Thursday and not Friday.
The current travails of the Greek economy are not enough to worry the US but the knock on consequences to the eurozone are enough to see a palpable hesitancy come over the FOMC as the timeline for interest rate rises has remained a prospect for a future as yet no nearer to happening.
The FTSE, DAX and CAC all toyed with reducing their losses this afternoon, but not enough to completely reverse a pretty bleak day of trading.
Monday afternoon brought with it a bit more action on the Greek front; not tangible, useful action, mind you, but action none the less.
A flurry of conferences this afternoon saw a typically stoic speech from Merkel, who claimed Germany is well prepared for a Grexit whilst reaffirming that the Eurozone ‘faces a decisive challenge’.
The German vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel was a tad more aggressive, calling Tsipras a threat to the entire Eurozone.
Yet these were just side shows to the Jean-Claude Juncker main event.
In a fairly emotional, as much as that term can be used to describe a conference on Greece, and personal speech, Juncker lambasted Greek ‘egotism’, claiming he felt ‘deeply distressed’ at the current situation.
He ended his speech by urging Greece to vote ‘yes’ on Sunday whilst throwing out some dubious sounding (and downright untrue) claims about the deal Greece’s creditors offered the country.
This spectacle was in direct contrast to Merkel’s claim that pressure shouldn’t be put on the Greek people ahead of Sunday, but was perhaps a more honest reflection of the growing desperation in Europe than the German chancellor’s speech.
Even if Greece does vote ‘yes’, the region’s flaws have been mercilessly exposed in the past few months, and Tuesday’s IMF payment is potentially looking like a very large nail in an increasingly likely coffin.
Whilst Europe wallowed in red, the US markets weren’t immune to the negative atmosphere that washed over the global indices like a plague of Greek locusts.
However, the super-charged performance by the euro-dollar helped the Dow Jones mitigate its losses as the euro strived to regain its Sunday losses.
It will be interesting to see how much sway the Greek situation holds over the US markets in a week that contains the latest, and Fed-relevant, non-farm figures.
Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst,
[3:45pm] Have the markets now priced in a Grexit?
A 5 minute update on Greece, the markets, and the increasingly likely default.
Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst,
[12:17pm] Charting Update: Can the Markets Recover the Gap Lower?
Here is a 16 minute round-up of the Greek situation and how the markets are reacting.
The markets gapped lower on the open but then saw a strong bounce.
But is that just a dead cat?
The DAX has seen a 600 point drop and the FTSE has broken some important resistance levels.
Update by Joshua Mahony, Research Analyst,
[12:02pm] Sell-off slows down as markets await debt-filled Tuesday
After the immediate plunge this morning the markets have calmed down somewhat as Monday has continued.
This is not to say there has been a complete turnaround; the DAX is still 3.5% down on the day, with similar losses across the region.
There has been very little news today for the markets to chew on, beyond the overwhelming negative sentiment that has settled in for the day.
Hollande has insisted there are still a few hours for a deal to be made.
Merkel has stated that Greece has to make the first move.
Juncker remains adamant that the Eurozone will keep all its 19 members despite feeling ‘deeply saddened’ by how the issue has progressed.
These comments capture the all too familiar inertia at the heart of this situation, and do nothing to suggest the messiness on the horizon can be avoided.
It currently feels like the relative calm before the potential storm tomorrow as Greece gets ready to almost inevitably fail to meet its IMF payment.
Whilst the Eurozone indices gained another percent from their lows, the FTSE couldn’t managed the same feat, only being able to take off around 0.4% of its Monday morning nadir.
The banking and travel sectors remain deep in the red following the weekend’s events, but like the indices have reduced their losses from the excesses of this morning.
Dow Jones futures to Open Higher...
Despite the bearish tone on the markets, the Dow Jones futures are still positive ahead of the open.
Whether this can last after the bell is unclear; it will likely be dependent on how the dollar continues to react to the Greek situation.
The greenback is fairly flat against the pound, but is taking a hammering from the euro as it regains the ground from the 3-week low it hit on Sunday following the confirmation of the referendum and the announcement of capital controls.
We have also updated our individual COT reports for the futures markets listed below. These are easier-to-read than the CFTC version. They also have additional long/short ratios data and give the weekly net positions changes.
With a slight technical analysis angle, here is how the markets are currently looking:
Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development,
[8:48am] Stock Market Update:
Compared to the overnight close:
The FTSE 100 is trading down -127.5pts (-1.89%) at 6,625.3 The Dow Jones is trading down -192pts (-1.07%) at 17,775 The S&P 500 is trading down -21.9pts (-1.04%) at 2,082.6 The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -52.4pts (-1.17%) at 4,436.4 The Nikkei 225 is trading down -600pts (-2.88%) at 20,227 The German DAX 30 is trading down -389.2pts (-3.37%) at 11,143.5 The French CAC 40 is trading down -185.3pts (-3.65%) at 4,885.3 The Italy 40 is trading up 843pts (3.67%) at 23,823 The Spain 35 is trading down -413pts (-3.64%) at 10,924 The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading down -131pts (-3.62%) at 3,491 The Holland 25 is trading down -15.1pts (-3.05%) at 479.8 The Switzerland 20 is trading down -167.0pts (-1.85%) at 8,866.0
The optimism found exactly one week ago looks even more like a market-wide delusion than it did at the time.
Tsipras’ bold call for a referendum has the air of a final Hail Mary for a leader whose position has looked decidedly shaky for the interminable month of June.
The Greek PM now has his fate in the hands of the Greek people once again, in a test of his public’s willingness to follow through on the policies they voted Syriza in on in the first place.
Of course there was no chance the FTSE was going to be immune to the market consequences of this Eurozone-defining week, and the UK index plunged by 2% at the open, hitting a 5-month low in the process.
Banking Sector Takes a Hit
With Greek banks shut until next Monday, the entire sector is suffering, with RBS, Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC all down 2%-3%.
There are much more severe declines for banks on the continent as investor try to flee to safer ground.
There were similarly tough times for travel companies, with Tui and Thomas Cook tumble 10% and 7% respectively following the horrific events of last Friday.
Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst,
[7:40am] It Might Be Unwise to Discount an Emergency Package
It looks to be a warm week in London, but in European capitals the atmosphere has got a lot more fetid.
Greece’s decision to shut banks over the weekend is just the most dramatic element of a crisis that has spiralled out of control.
There was always the risk that participants would miscalculate in a fashion that echoes the mistakes of August 1914, with the end result being a ‘worst-case’ outcome.
Overnight stock indices have moved sharply lower, with the euro selling off as well.
In the bond markets yields on Spanish bonds are rising sharply.
Many in the eurozone believe that they have created the necessary firebreaks to stop contagion, but that theory will be sorely tested, perhaps to destruction, in the coming days.
Time has almost run out to keep Greece in the eurozone, but even now it is perhaps unwise not to discount the possibility of an emergency package that will avert disaster.
Although this will simply defer the hard questions, having looked over the precipice, eurozone leaders may well blink.
Ahead of the London open, we are calling the FTSE 100 down 150 points, at 6603, following the lead of its peers on the continent.
Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst,
China Cuts Interest Rates Again
Over the weekend, we also saw another easing move by Chinese authorities as they cut all their key lending rates, for the fourth time since November.
The 25 basis points cut was an attempt to help avert a slowdown in the economy.
Clean Financial readers should note that you may be able to spread bet on stock market indices with other brokers.
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
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 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.
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:
Moving higher than 5820.7, or
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
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.
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’.
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.
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.
'Stock Market Spread Betting' edited by Jacob Wood, updated 29-Jun-15
For related articles also see:
Stock Market Trading, updated 18-Mar-15
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FTSE 100 Spread Betting, updated 29-Jun-15
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Dow Jones Spread Betting, updated 29-Jun-15
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German Stock Market Spread Betting, updated 29-Jun-15
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S&P 500 Spread Betting, updated 29-Jun-15
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NASDAQ 100 Spread Betting, updated 29-Jun-15
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Nikkei 225 Spread Betting, updated 29-Jun-15
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Hang Seng Spread Betting, updated 25-Jun-15
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Stock Market Spread Betting
Stock market index spread betting guide with live prices & charts. Plus daily stock market analysis, an indices spread betting price comparison, tips on where to trade commission-free and tax-free* as well as... » read from top.