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.
The FTSE 100 is trading up 59.8pts (0.98%) at 6,192.5 The Dow Jones is trading up 63pts (0.38%) at 16,417 The S&P 500 is trading up 7.3pts (0.37%) at 1,957.9 The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 19.9pts (0.47%) at 4,282.3 The Nikkei 225 is trading down -20pts (-0.11%) at 18,281 The German DAX 30 is trading up 96.9pts (0.96%) at 10,224.0 The French CAC 40 is trading up 35.1pts (0.76%) at 4,624.3 The Italy 40 is trading up 843pts (3.67%) at 23,823 The Spain 35 is trading up 91pts (0.92%) at 10,030 The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 21pts (0.65%) at 3,243 The Switzerland 20 is trading up 102.5pts (1.18%) at 8,767.5
The FTSE 100 is trading down -34.0pts (-0.55%) at 6,181.3 The Dow Jones is trading down -157pts (-0.94%) at 16,516 The S&P 500 is trading down -18.3pts (-0.92%) at 1,973.8 The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -36.4pts (-0.84%) at 4,294.1 The Nikkei 225 is trading down -23pts (-0.12%) at 18,998 The German DAX 30 is trading down -148.4pts (-1.43%) at 10,213.3 The French CAC 40 is trading down -51.0pts (-1.09%) at 4,632.8 The Italy 40 is trading up 843pts (3.67%) at 23,823 The Spain 35 is trading down -67pts (-0.65%) at 10,255 The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading down -38pts (-1.15%) at 3,256 The Switzerland 20 is trading down -129.0pts (-1.45%) at 8,741.5
How the key stock market indices closed compared to the previous session:
The FTSE 100 closed up 134.6pts (2.21%) at 6,215.3 The Dow Jones closed up 379pts (2.33%) at 16,673 The S&P 500 closed up 48.9pts (2.52%) at 1,992.1 The NASDAQ 100 closed up 112.7pts (2.67%) at 4,330.5 The Nikkei 225 closed up 317pts (1.69%) at 19,021 The German DAX 30 closed up 151.6pts (1.48%) at 10,361.7 The French CAC 40 closed up 92.4pts (2.01%) at 4,683.8 The Italy 40 closed up 58pts (0.25%) at 22,980 The Spain 35 closed up 317pts (3.17%) at 10,322 The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 63pts (1.95%) at 3,294 The Switzerland 20 closed up 162.0pts (1.86%) at 8,870.5
[10:35am] Europe follows Asia higher but can it last?
European equity markets have opened much higher given the positive move in Asia overnight, but traders are already wondering how much longer this euphoria will last?
The longer we hang around these levels the more likely it will pull back.
The phrase ‘dead-cat-bounce’ has been bandied about this morning, and unless we have a fresh round of buying then the rally will unravel.
This week traders have been tricked into buying up cheap stocks thinking the correction is here to stay, only to have their fingers burnt.
The markets are very sheepish at the moment and everyone is waiting for someone else to make the first move.
The sense is that dealers are anticipating a big move in either direction, but for now the fear factor is too great.
It will take a lot more than one good trading session in Asia to convince dealers that everything is back to normal.
Dow Jones to open 165 points higher
We are expecting the Dow Jones to open 165 points higher at 16,450
The comments from Mr Dudley are still echoing around Wall Street.
The events of the past week have led traders to believe that interest rates will not rise in the US next month, and after Mr Dudley’s remarks yesterday dealers are now not so sure if there will even be a rate rise this year.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
[10:24am] FTSE 100 Romps Higher
Despite a plethora of companies going ex-dividend today, the FTSE is romping higher led by Standard Chartered.
Emerging market exposure has ground down shares in the banks over the past number of weeks.
Given that the average price target is above the £10 marker, and the stock is currently trading at 750p you could say that bargain hunting amongst the financial sector stocks was inevitable.
Same goes for the materials sector with BHP, Anglo American, Antofagasta and Rio all registering decent gains on the back of stabilising metal prices.
Update by Brenda Kelly, Senior Market Strategist,
[9:30am] Dow Jones Sees Biggest One Day Gain in Four Years
Here's a brief round-up of the markets:
Update by David Papier, Sales Trader,
[9:10am] Stock Market Update:
Compared to the overnight close:
The FTSE 100 is trading up 22.8pts (0.37%) at 6,103.5 The Dow Jones is trading up 140pts (0.86%) at 16,434 The S&P 500 is trading up 16.3pts (0.84%) at 1,959.5 The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 42.9pts (1.02%) at 4,260.7 The Nikkei 225 is trading up 74pts (0.40%) at 18,778 The German DAX 30 is trading up 69.2pts (0.68%) at 10,279.3 The French CAC 40 is trading up 25.9pts (0.56%) at 4,617.3 The Italy 40 is trading up 843pts (3.67%) at 23,823 The Spain 35 is trading up 215pts (2.15%) at 10,220 The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 26pts (0.80%) at 3,257 The Switzerland 20 is trading up 38.5pts (0.44%) at 8,747.0
[8:34am] Positive US and Asian sessions leads to strong start for European indices
Trading got off to a much better start this Thursday.
Last night’s Dow surge and this morning’s Chinese rebound leading to a positive open for the European indices.
Whilst a last minute panic saw yesterday’s European sell-off intensify just before the close, fears over the sustainability of the US markets’ early gains proved to be premature.
The Dow Jones ended the American session up by 600 points after New York Fed President William Dudley called a September lift-off ‘less compelling’ than it was even a week ago.
This renewed appetite for risk carried over into a predictably choppy Asian session that did eventually see the Shanghai Composite post its biggest one-day jump since the start of July.
The good vibes continued into the open of the European markets, with the FTSE sporadically hitting a 100 point increase whilst the DAX consistently trades over 200 points higher.
Of course, there is a long way to go until the end of the day (and the week, given the muted Wednesday trading that followed ‘Turnaround Tuesday’).
There could still be a lot more volatility left.
However, Tuesday’s gains came despite the continued freefall of the Chinese markets.
Today’s gains are following a second positive session for the Shanghai Composite and a sustained surge by the US markets.
This suggests there might be a bit more weight behind the sea of green currently lighting up the European trading floors.
Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst,
[5:10am] Daily Stock Market Moves:
How the key stock market indices closed compared to the previous session:
The FTSE 100 closed up 100.0pts (1.67%) at 6,080.7 The Dow Jones closed up 535pts (3.39%) at 16,294 The S&P 500 closed up 65.6pts (3.49%) at 1,943.2 The NASDAQ 100 closed up 188.4pts (4.68%) at 4,217.8 The Nikkei 225 closed up 880pts (4.94%) at 18,704 The German DAX 30 closed up 325.1pts (3.29%) at 10,210.1 The French CAC 40 closed up 114.5pts (2.56%) at 4,591.4 The Italy 40 closed up 58pts (0.25%) at 22,980 The Spain 35 closed up 18pts (0.18%) at 10,005 The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 110pts (3.52%) at 3,231 The Switzerland 20 closed up 174.5pts (2.04%) at 8,708.5
With big candles in both directions on the charts, for the FTSE 100 and German DAX, it is very difficult to work out if the market has bottomed out.
The markets could easily go either way (sorry).
The Dow Jones however is looking a lot more bearish.
Update by Joshua Raymond, Chief Market Strategist,
[10:24am] Scared Shanghai investors force the index lower
The positive sentiment generated by the Chinese interest rate cut has been short lived as the markets question why Beijing waited and why it didn’t do more.
Having become increasingly used to the more unorthodox methods of the PBoC, it was maybe unrealistic to expect the more commonly used Western tactic of interest rate and reserve rate cuts to have instilled confidence into China’s investment community.
The initial euphoria this triggered with the US markets didn’t even last a full trading session and Europe has once again opened in a sea of red.
The bulls currently are displaying a complete absence of conviction.
However it’s worth remembering that we’re still at the tail end of the summer and equity market volumes still remain particularly thin adding to the market’s ability to exaggerate moves.
Just when it seemed that price manipulation scandals were finally behind us, the EU is said to be investigating precious metals trading operations in at least 10 banks, including Deutsche, HSBC and Barclays.
The commission is alleging anti-competitive spot trading in the likes of gold and silver.
The brewer’s massive exposure to emerging markets, where currencies have been hammered by foreign exchange movements is taking its toll.
Update by Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Market Analyst,
[10:00am] Markets seek a bottom as China bursts the global asset bubble
Traders made a sharp U-turn as the PBoC cut the RRR and the lending rate to curb the sell-off in Chinese stock markets.
Chinese stocks were better bid in Asia but gains remained contained as the margin requirements were increased on stock index futures in addition to restrictions to daily open positions and higher transaction fees.
The idea is to avoid short-term volatilities and overheating in leveraged trades to improve financial stability.
Everybody could see the excessive inflation in Shanghai’s stocks since September last year, yet enhancing gains were too sweet to step out pre-maturely.
The new restrictions have kept the Chinese stocks safe from speculative in-and-outs.
Shanghai’s Composite lost another 1.27% and closed the session below the 3000 mark.
As we certainly approach the bottom of this historical sell-off, a sell-off that started in June and wiped out more than 40% off the all-time highs, the recovery is expected to happen in a calmer fashion.
The European equity markets opened in red
The FTSE index lost more than 1%, mostly lead by oil companies.
BP, Royal Dutch and BG traded 1.50% lower as the recovery in WTI and Brent futures are being challenged at $40 and $45 respectively.
As many thought, the past years gains in equity markets might have been nothing but an asset bubble.
The correction will hopefully bring prices to levels representative of macro and micro fundamentals. It is however too early to predict the bottom.
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 03-Sep-15
For related articles also see:
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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.