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
22-Oct-14 [12:28pm] With equities rebounding on hopes of central bank intervention, the latest video on our blog asks whether the selling is really over?

Can the DAX Maintain its Bounce if Data Continues to Disappoint?

Update by Jenna Cutly, Editor, CleanFinancial
22-Oct-14 [10:47am] It was another big session in US markets yesterday, with the Dow flying higher by more than 200 points and the NASDAQ up a scintillating 100 plus points.

This was all thanks to impressive quarterly results from Apple and a report purporting plans for further stimulus from the European Central Bank.

Today US markets look to open lower despite better earnings from Yahoo! after hours as investors question how long this rapid turnaround from the collapse seen last week can last given the ongoing difficulties in Europe.

Can Earnings Keep Us on the Up?

Key drivers for today's session will be the monthly CPI report as well as earnings from Boeing, Biogen, US Bancorp and Dow Chemical.

The Dow Jones has now recovered more than 50% of the decline since the all-time high in September, despite notably disappointing earnings from Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Verizon yesterday.

Another slip-up from Boeing may have investors questioning how far the index can go without the earnings to back it up with the Fed scheduled to end QE.

Boeing could well come to the rescue though, as the company has reported third quarter deliveries of 186 commercial airplanes, 9.4% higher than a year ago.

The only slight risk comes from a tightening US defence budget.

Earnings are expected to be $1.98 per share on revenue of $23.02bn.

AT&T are due to report after the close.

Futures suggest that the S&P 500 will open 2 points lower at 1,939, with the Dow Jones expected to open 16 points lower at 16,598 and the NASDAQ 4 points lower at 3,975.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
22-Oct-14 [10:26am] In mid-morning trading, the FTSE 100 is down 25 points, pushed lower by concerns from the consumer sector.

The magnitude of yesterday's rally will have caught many by surprise, and while markets are moving a touch lower this morning it seems like the bulls are still firmly in control.

The 10% correction was a nasty shock, but with the end of the year looming there will be a lot of investors looking to jump on board a late-stage rally that will do much to buff performance figures for the year.

British American Tobacco's disappointing numbers today have sent the shares to their lowest level since April, although the strong pound's impact will diminish in the next update given that sterling is continuing to fall.

Speaking of sterling, the currency was given another shove in the direction of $1.60 as minutes from the BoE pointed towards a delay in interest rate hikes.

This backs up the public statements made last week at the height of the market's volatile period, but it illustrates how the attempt at clear forward guidance simply leaves the Bank at the mercy of events.

Yahoo picked up the baton from Apple last night, keeping markets in positive mood thanks to good earnings numbers, but the big event is likely to be the CPI reading.

Downward pressure on the number is likely to come from the broad sell off in oil prices, which gives the Fed additional wiggle room on monetary policy, even if QE is still set to leave us next week.

More important is the outlook on rates and in this the FOMC is likely to emulate the BoE in due course, signalling that renewed global headwinds will be the key worry regarding the outlook for the US economy.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow to start 30 points lower at 16,586.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
22-Oct-14 [9:39am]

ECB Stimulus and Apple Results Send Stock Markets Higher

Strong earnings from Apple and rumours of ECB corporate bond buying sent stocks higher yesterday, with the Dow and the DAX adding more than 200 points.

US earnings season continues today, with updates from Boeing and Dow Chemicals.

Update by Mark Priest, Market Analyst, ETX Capital
22-Oct-14 [8:08am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading down -41.3pts (-0.64%) at 6,362.0
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones is trading down -37pts (-0.22%) at 16,595
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 is trading down -5.0pts (-0.26%) at 1,940.5
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -6.3pts (-0.16%) at 3,976.9
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 66pts (0.44%) at 15,135
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading down -15.8pts (-0.18%) at 8,932.0
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading down -21.0pts (-0.51%) at 4,083.8
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 is trading down -30pts (-0.16%) at 18,990
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 is trading down -47pts (-0.46%) at 10,117
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading down -16pts (-0.53%) at 2,990
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 is trading down -1.8pts (-0.45%) at 394.9
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading down -10.5pts (-0.12%) at 8,429.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
22-Oct-14 [8:08am] Corporate earnings seem to be the main theme of the week as the Dow bounced on positive news as Apple posted positive earnings.

This bullish trend did not falter yesterday evening despite poor results from McDonalds and Coca Cola, the latter posting revenues at $11.15bn below the forecasted $12.15bn.

Investors remained positive as housing data was above expected and the Dow closed up around 200 points at 16,615.

Boeing will be announcing their earnings before the Dow opens this afternoon, however, macro conditions in the economy seem to be overriding these results, whether they are positive or negative, for now.

Yesterday's improved sentiment resulted in Asian shares reacting positively.

The Nikkei rose 2.1% yesterday on the back of positive global policies from the EU, trading around 15,190.

In addition, the FTSE has recovered from last week's 15 month low, closing up 1.7% and looking to open up around 10 points this morning at 6379.

European bourses look to extend the upward trend this morning as investor's react to EU bond purchases and hence the stabilisation of growth within the EU.

Finally, commodities seem to be shaking off a couple of weeks of falling prices as Brent oil looks to break the $88 mark in the near future and gold pushing the $1,250 mark which was breached briefly yesterday.

However, silver still seems to be lagging behind, struggling to reach the $18 that many investors believe is the next level to look at.

Update by Toby Goar, Financial Trader, Spreadex
22-Oct-14 [7:34am] US indices soared on Tuesday led by shares in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment, Energy and Transportation sectors

The S&P 500 (1941.28) remains below its 20 DMA (1933.5 - negative slope), and its 50 DMA (1966.8 - flat slope).

European markets are expected to start on a positive note.

Update by InterTrader
22-Oct-14 [6:29am] Yesterday's positive sentiment seems to be continuing as European stocks look to start on a firm footing.

Things looked a little nervy at the start of yesterday's session but reports that the ECB are thinking about purchasing covered corporate bonds in the secondary market gave the bulls the green light for a rally.

Investors speculated that the European Central Bank is not going to let the situation spiral into deflation and risk dragging the whole world back into recession.

From there it was all one way action right into the close and US and Asian markets carried on that bullish theme.

The feel good factor managed to push the Dow Jones 200 points higher to 16,638.

There's still a lot of debate and chatter about whether the gains are just a 'dead cat bounce', and considering that global growth woes are still so pervasive, it wouldn't take much of a data miss to slam this feline carcass back to the ground.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
22-Oct-14 [5:34am] Was it really a week ago that stock markets were starting their plunge towards multi-month lows amidst concern that central banks were stepping back against a backdrop of slowing global growth?

Yet here we are almost a week later with US markets posting their best one day performance of 2014, and we are rising sharply once again on the basis that corporate earnings are by and large, coming in in line with expectations.

Before we get too carried away, let's ask ourselves what has fundamentally changed from a week ago and you have got to say not that much.

Undoubtedly Apple's numbers were stunning but for every strong update we have Coca Cola, a miss, McDonalds, a miss, Google, a miss, IBM, a miss, SAP, a miss, and Philips, a miss.

None of these are small companies and the fact that none of them was able to meet expectations should worry markets but, when push comes to shove, you should never stand in front of a runaway train.

Rumours of ECB Corporate Bond Buying Lifts Stocks

Based on this, you have to surmise that stock markets are looking past these disappointing earnings reports and are continuing to hang future gains on the prospects for further stimulus, this time from the European Central Bank, and to pretend otherwise is quite frankly wishful thinking.

This time, the reports revolve around the prospect that the central bank could well look at purchasing corporate bonds in the coming months, in addition to the covered bond program that started this week.

While ECB officials have denied that any move is imminent, the nature of the speculation is so ECB; using unnamed sources to plant an idea in the markets consciousness and then let it germinate on fertile ground so that investors can grasp at straws and help push asset prices higher.

With the Fed due to end its QE program next week, markets are therefore more susceptible to the suggestion of further stimulus as they prepare for the US tap to be switched off.

Let's hope they're not too disappointed if the ECB once again fails to deliver, but for now investors appear to be buying the narrative, with Europe set to open near to one week highs this morning.

UK Minutes Probably Too Outdated

In the UK, the latest Bank of England minutes could well make for interesting reading, particularly in light of some of the most recent economic data, as UK tax revenues continue to disappoint.

In the lead-up to the last meeting there had been some speculation as to whether other policymakers on the MPC might join McCafferty and Weale in calling for higher rates.

This scenario would be surprising given the weakness seen in some of the data, with the most likely outcome being that the status quo is maintained with respect to voting patterns.

Since that meeting earlier this month we've seen stock markets plunge on global growth concerns while inflation has fallen further, closing the gap to average earnings, while other data has also started to look a little softer.

This weakness here in the UK and elsewhere in the world probably prompted Bank of England Chief Economist Andrew Haldane's comments last week.

If this sentiment is replicated across the committee, it could well presage a possible change in thinking with respect to the two dissenters on the MPC and their stance on a rate hike.

If that is the case then it could well make this morning's minutes rather dated, and for that reason there is the possibility that we could well go back to a consensus of 9-0 at the November meeting in just over two weeks' time.

In the US, the latest CPI numbers for September are expected to reinforce concerns about weak inflation and act as a reminder to investors about the Federal Reserve's dual mandate.

On an annualised basis, prices are expected to fall to 1.6% from 1.7%, reinforcing the Fed's message of lower rates for longer.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
22-Oct-14 [4:08am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 closed up 103.1pts (1.64%) at 6,403.3
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 199pts (1.21%) at 16,632
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 35.5pts (1.86%) at 1,945.5
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 93.0pts (2.39%) at 3,983.2
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed down -70pts (-0.46%) at 15,069
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 167.8pts (1.91%) at 8,947.8
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 87.9pts (2.19%) at 4,104.8
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 closed up 491pts (2.65%) at 19,020
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 232pts (2.34%) at 10,164
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 67pts (2.28%) at 3,006
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 10.4pts (2.69%) at 396.7
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 151.0pts (1.82%) at 8,439.5

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
21-Oct-14 [3:52pm] ECB news saw to it that the buoyant atmosphere in equity markets was prolonged into a second consecutive day, as investors look to put last week's volatility firmly behind them.

Leaving aside the small point of whether the ECB is actually considering a new bond purchase programme, the reports of a possible plan were enough to give markets the additional momentum they needed, building on the broadly upbeat atmosphere created by Apple's excellent earnings last night.

Disappointingly Trafalgar Day sees the FTSE 100 lagging behind France and Spain, but the 'Nelson touch' still applies to most of the UK market.

Value hunters in particular have found a niche in the homebuilder sector while oil firms are enjoying a lift thanks to a bounce in crude prices on hopes of increased Chinese demand.

The broad turnaround in sentiment has been quite remarkable, with the doom callers of last week falling silent as buyers step back in.

As usual, the market got carried away, and the steep declines of late have tempted in the dip buyers once more.

The gains today have come in spite of some disappointing figures from American icons like McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Lockheed, but Apple trumps these easily.

Reports of the demise of the titan built by Steve Jobs have clearly been premature and the iPhone sales figures remind us how powerful the pull of a new gadget really is.

However, McDonalds seems to be locked in a permanent spiral of decline, with even its newer breakfast offerings seeing a drop in demand.

McDonalds needs to arrest the collapse in earnings, and while the buyers have stepped in today to take the stock off the lows, a failure to construct a rescue plan will see the shares head back to two-year lows in short order.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
21-Oct-14 [2:17pm] Global equities continue to find support this afternoon, with the FTSE 100 up some 50 points at 6,315 in sympathy of potential support from the ECB in the face of deflation.

We're calling the Dow Jones Industrial Average up just under 0.5%.

10-year government bonds have also been retreating in recent sessions, helping to inflate yields from the almost unbelievable lows of last week's liquidity crunch.

When a number of large, leveraged funds want out of losing positions, prices reflect that.

And, to simplify, that was what happened last week.

The short, Treasuries and long oil was brought to a new level of pain after the Shire deal collapsed, sending risk assets into a spin across the board.

So, combine a few very large sellers, a nervous market, a financial press that has the ability to exacerbate global growth concerns and Ebola, and we find what looks an awful lot like capitulation.

Update by David White, Trader, Spreadex
21-Oct-14 [10:48am] Heavy demand for iPhones saw Apple secure strong earnings in Q3 and helped US investors offset disappointment over IBM's significant profit and revenue miss.

A smaller than expected drop in China's GDP growth as well as positive earnings expectations for a number of S&P 500 companies are setting markets up for a higher open.

Futures suggest that the Dow Jones will open 12 points higher at 16,411, with the S&P 500 expected to open 2 points higher at 1,906 and the NASDAQ 11 points higher at 3,881.

US markets will focus on China's GDP headline number at 7.3%, higher than the 7.2% expected but the number is still a significant drop from the prior quarter's growth of 7.5% and is setting us up for the slowest annual growth in China since the 1990s.

Will McDonalds Provide a Happy Meal for Investors?

Earnings today will come from numerous Dow and S&P heavyweights.

Before the open there are reports from McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Verizon, Omnicom, Lockheed Martin and Harley Davidson while Yahoo! reports after the closing bell.

The Dow Jones underperformed the S&P 500 and NASDAQ yesterday thanks to the IBM miss and today's story could unfold in a similar manner.

Both McDonalds and Coca-Cola have been having difficult quarters at the hands of more sugar-conscious consumers and their significant foreign earnings may suffer from weakness abroad.

McDonalds is also under fire in Russia, with multiple stores being closed in what many are deeming as the Russian government's retaliation to western sanctions.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
21-Oct-14 [10:14am] In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 27 points at 6294 as traders are taking time to digest China's figures.

In London, the equity market is eerily quiet.

The numbers out overnight from China were good and bad at the same time; the growth figures exceeded estimates but also confirmed the Chinese economy is cooling off.

Mining stocks have been under severe pressure lately as traders were preparing themselves for soft figures from China, and now that their suspicions have been vindicated it is a non-event.

ASOS has finally made a positive announcement; full-year profits were higher than expected, even though the end-of-year target was revised lower three times in the last seven months.

ARM Holdings has given up its early gains.

The chip designer reported a double-digit increase in revenue and the royalty stream came in higher than estimated.

Despite a healthy jump in revenue per room with all regions of the company pulling their weight, shares in InterContinental Hotels slipped into the red.

High-street bookie William Hill announced a 13% jump in first-half profits; the online gaming division is performing particularly well.

In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open five points higher at 16,404.

IBM, which is now the third-largest Dow component, is down 1.5% in pre-market trading, while Apple is extending its gains from last night's stellar set of numbers.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
21-Oct-14 [9:35am]

Equity Markets Slide as Volatility Looks to Return

With US treasuries showing similar movements to last week, stocks are down as traders brace themselves for further volatility.

ARM Holdings has reported weak figures but the strong update from Apple has lifted both shares.

The tragic news of the death of Total's CEO in a Moscow plane crash may lead to some destabilisation of Russian markets over safety concerns.

Update by Joe Rundle, Market Analyst, ETX Capital

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 22-Oct-14

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