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-Sep-14 [4:02pm] Equity markets are enduring another wobble in the UK and Europe, but in the US the selling already seems to be subsiding as economic data holds steady.

Indices in the UK and Europe are rallying off the lows, having seen heavy losses earlier in the session.

The FTSE's initial decline was helped along by some impressive profit warnings from the likes of Tate & Lyle and Mothercare.

In addition, Tesco continues to operate under a cloud as the Chairman comes under fire from shareholders for presiding over one of the worst periods in the supermarket's history.

Sainsbury's might feel aggrieved that its shares are suffering despite having had no comparable problems (so far).

However, with stock market investors scrambling for the lifeboats, the sector is surely looking at a grim few weeks before the next set of earnings emerge.

Pharmaceuticals are being aggressively sold as well today thanks to the US government's desire to clamp down on tax inversion deals.

AstraZeneca has been a particular victim as the market frets that Pfizer will not be making a return visit to the UK company.

US indices were slightly lower on the open, but the impact of weaker Eurozone figures and the intensifying airstrikes in the Middle East is once again fading.

The retreat from all-time highs has been rather precipitate, but it would still seem unwise to argue with the broader outlook, which remains supportive of gains in the longer-term.

All these short-term sell offs seem to be moves in search of a reason and usually the eventual result is that the selling subsides and fresh highs are recorded.

In the face of robust economic data and improving earnings, there is little to suppose that this time will be any different.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
23-Sep-14 [4:01pm] European Stock Markets

Selling was dominant throughout Europe today on the back data for September showing the slowest rate of growth in European business activity so far this year.

The FTSE 100 came under extra pressure from new tax rules in the US that threaten to derail M&A possibilities in the UK healthcare sector.

France saw a slight improvement in manufacturing but services deteriorated, leaving both parts of the economy in contraction territory below 50.

More worryingly Germany's manufacturing sector slipped to 50.3, just shy of contraction.

The PMI surveys are signalling further weakness in the Eurozone which, already faced with significant structural problems, appears to be imposing a self-inflicted wound with more sanctions on Russia.

This is destabilising business and investor confidence in Germany, the one country the currency-block could rely on for growth.

France's problems have long been known and were exemplified this weekend when French farmers set a tax office on fire in Brittany in response to falling food prices.

Geopolitical tensions were also being stoked today with US President Obama beginning airstrikes against IS militants in Syria, expanding the existing campaign in Iraq.

Lawmakers had recently signed off on training and arming rebel groups inside Syria but the airstrikes have seemingly occurred without congressional approval and questionable legal authority.

The FTSE 100 had reached towards multi-year highs at 6,900 on relief from the Scottish referendum, however, deteriorating conditions for major trading partners China and Europe meant the index did not quite have the oomph to move higher and is now falling off a cliff.

Supermarkets were dropping again today as Tesco now seems in a tailspin after rushing in a new finance chief.

Tate & Lyle was a big faller after stating a disruption to its supply chain and increased competition for its Splenda sweetener would hit annual profits.

US Stock Markets

Shares in the US were fairing a little better than Europe despite the news from the Treasury of a crackdown on tax inversion deals as factory data from China was a little better than expected.

Manufacturing data was largely unchanged from the prior month with the Markit PMI flat at 57.9 and the Richmond Fed index up to 14 from 12.

As US markets pull back from all-time highs, some sectors are pulling back harder than others.

Yesterday was marked by a distinct underperformance in small caps and momentum stocks with Yahoo! and Tesla two standout poor performers.

The cash windfall from the partial sales of its stake in Alibaba has already been priced into the share prices of Yahoo!.

As a result, the stock is now suffering from both momentum underperformance and the selling of those who had been using Yahoo! as a proxy for Alibaba now buying Alibaba shares directly.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Sep-14 [3:30pm] There is an element of fatigue in the equity market today, as negative data from the Eurozone acted as the catalyst to send a flood of sell orders into the market.

This hasn't been helped by the approach of quarter end, commonly a time where money managers will cycle out of asset classes performing well, namely equities, and rebalance into other assets.

But investors are showing signs of fatigue; the market is looking more fairly priced now that liquidity from the US is being withdrawn and earnings growth is tempering.

Here in London, the supermarkets are once again in focus.

Sainsbury's and Tesco's are currently down by more than 4% on a continued surplus of supply to the markets of sell orders.

Investors are today saying of the supermarkets that the rate at which earnings will change over time is increasingly to the downside.

The shares of Tesco are looking to close below 200p.

Update by David White, Trader, Spreadex
23-Sep-14 [11:05am] US markets had a rough start to the week after the Dow saw a triple digit loss yesterday, with the outlook for China's economy deteriorating and a downturn in the US housing market rattling investors.

Major benchmarks look weak this morning ahead of the release of PMI data at home and abroad, not helped by a crackdown by the US treasury on inversion deals that could put a halt to this year's M&A boom.

Futures suggest the Dow Jones will open 34 points lower at 17,138, with the S&P 500 expected to open 6 points lower at 1,988 and the NASDAQ 16 points lower at 4,045.

M&A Activity May Halt as US Treasury Looks to Stop Inversion Deals

Healthcare stocks in the UK and Ireland have sold off sharply on the announcement that the US Treasury will take action against inversion deals designed to reduce the amount of tax US corporations pay by moving headquarters offshore to a lower tax jurisdiction.

The low tax rates of the UK and Ireland have attracted deals especially in the pharmaceutical sector including Abbvie's successful takeover of Shire and Pfizer's attempted takeover of AstraZeneca.

There is some evidence to suggest that large companies had been given the nod these rules might be coming into effect with Walgreens recently choosing not to invert in its deal with Alliance Boots to avoid regulatory scrutiny.

The final tipping point for lawmakers on whether to introduce the changes to the tax code was likely the prospective deal between Burger King and Tim Hortons which would have seen the iconic American fast-food restaurant become Canadian.

The new rules would apply to deals closed after today and as such should not impact already completed deals including the Abbie takeover of Shire.

America's top companies may choose not to face up against the IRS but it's questionable how much power the US has to stop the practise when it involves a foreign company and associated foreign laws.

The tax inversions are clearly not good for the US economy but rather than complicating the law even further and engaging in a France-like intervention in the free market, US officials might have been better simplifying the tax code and lowering corporation tax to keep its top companies.

The US trading session sees more housing data with the Housing Price index expected to show an increase of 0.4% in the month and the release of the Markit Manufacturing PMI for the US expected to rise to 58 from 57.9 for September.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Sep-14 [10:13am] In mid-morning trading, the FTSE 100 is down 75 points at 6698 as household names like Tate & Lyle and Tesco lead the market lower.

Tesco is still the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

The troubled supermarket giant has drafted in Alan Stewart as the new CFO; Mr Stewart was originally due to take up the post in December but desperate times call for desperate measures, as the stock is off 2.5%.

Foods company Tate & Lyle is also far from flavour of the month after issuing a profit warning.

Increased competition and supply chain issues were cited as reasons for the poor performance.

Mothercare has announced a £100 million rights issue to help finance the mother of all comebacks, with the aim to reduce its presence on the high street and focus on the online business.

Tougher tax laws introduced by the US, to prevent companies from dodging high taxation levels by locating their headquarters overseas, has hurt AstraZeneca and Shire Pharmaceutical.

Mining companies have breathed a sigh of relief, as the HSBC survey of Chinese manufacturing revealed a surprise jump in output in September.

Traders were preparing themselves for underwhelming numbers, and judging by the small bounce in mineral extractors this could be the calm before the next wave of selling.

In the US, we are calling the Dow down 30 points at 17,142.

US index futures are being dragged lower by sentiment in Europe.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
23-Sep-14 [9:31am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading down -54.4pts (-0.80%) at 6,704.8
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones is trading down -9pts (-0.05%) at 17,143
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 is trading down -1.7pts (-0.09%) at 1,989.3
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -5.6pts (-0.14%) at 4,046.7
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading down -38pts (-0.24%) at 16,125
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading down -44.9pts (-0.46%) at 9,669.0
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading down -34.7pts (-0.78%) at 4,387.0
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 is trading down -137pts (-0.66%) at 20,538
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 is trading down -74pts (-0.68%) at 10,846
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading down -26pts (-0.80%) at 3,226
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 is trading down -0.2pts (-0.05%) at 420.2
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading down -24.0pts (-0.27%) at 8,783.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
23-Sep-14 [9:28am]

Equities Recover as Chinese PMI Suprises to the Upside

Weakening housing data saw US stocks stumble, with the S&P 500 seeing its largest 1 day fall since early August.

Stronger than expected Chinese manufacturing PMI figures have spurred a rebound in stocks, however, mining stocks weighed on the back of ample supply.

Update by ETX Capital
23-Sep-14 [7:35am] US indices dropped on Monday pressured by shares in the Media, Consumer Durables & Apparel, and Retailing sectors.

The S&P 500 (1994.29) remains above its 20 DMA (1998.8 - flat slope), and its 50 DMA (1976 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a flat note.

Update by InterTrader
23-Sep-14 [7:29am] Asian stocks advanced overnight after a preliminary reading of China's manufacturing sectors showed a surprise improvement this month.

The HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI figure jumped to 50.5, exceeding the 50 estimate.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion from the previous month, a welcome sign given the struggles of the world's second-largest economy has had recently.

European futures are showing a slightly softer start, with the FTSE called down 5 to 6770.

The euro remains unchanged against the dollar as investors focus on a string of data from the Eurozone which could affect the currency.

Overall Flash, German and French manufacturing PMI due to be released later will have a direct effect on how the currency trades.

The survey of about 500 purchasing managers, who rate the relative level of business conditions, provides a leading indicator of economic health.

German Flash manufacturing PMI is scheduled to show a 51.3 reading, down from the 51.4 announced in the previous month.

Update by Lee Mumford, Trader, Spreadex
23-Sep-14 [6:56am] European markets are expected to open with mixed beginnings today.

An unexpected improvement in the Chinese manufacturing sector has failed to offset concerns over Europe's own manufacturing and services industries ahead of PMIs released later this morning.

There appeared to be a general liquidation yesterday, with stocks and commodities lower and only bonds getting a slight lift as investors moved into cash; namely cash denominated in US dollars.

Fears of a Chinese slowdown have been eased somewhat after HSBC's flash China manufacturing data improved to 50.4 in September from 50.2 last month against expectations of a drop to 50.0.

Asian equities are higher on the news but today's upside has not recouped all of yesterday's losses given that the manufacturing sector still seems to be in trouble.

Despite this, China's Finance Ministry have indicated that there won't be any big changes in policy to stimulate the sector and the economy.

European Data Continues to Fall

The flood of European data starts at 7:45am BST where French GDP is expected to show no growth in the second quarter.

At 8:00am, French Manufacturing PMI is expected to improve slightly to 47 from 46.9, with services looking to slip back to 50.1 from 50.3 previously.

At 8:30am, German manufacturing PMI is expected to fall back to 51.2 from 51.4, with services also seen declining to 54.6 from 54.9.

Despite a general worsening of conditions in Europe's two largest economies, the Eurozone composite PMI is expected to remain flat at 52.5.

Investors could be looking for any indication that the economic malaise Europe finds itself in has started to end as a possible turning point for the euro and the underperformance of European shares.

Yesterday outgoing President of the European Union Barroso said 'It's true that the growth in the real economy is going slower than expected, but let's not forget where we come from,' 'We avoided the financial instability, we avoided the sovereign debt crisis.'

It will take more than the avoidance of crises to reassure traders, with a more concerted effort by European governments to introduce structural reforms before any improvement in economic data can be expected to sustain.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Sep-14 [6:07am] Stock markets in Europe are set to start mixed as spread betting account holders continue to reel from yesterday's declines.

Pundits put the move lower down to profit taking and Chinese growth concerns so there should be some relief when traders digest the surprising uptick in the HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI overnight.

Traders had been building up a picture of a cliff edge decline in the Chinese economy and saw the slump in industrial production a couple of weeks ago as a precursor to last night's data.

Manufacturing is also set to be the flavour of the day across the other regions as we get data from Europe and the US.

With US existing homes sales surprisingly dropping yesterday, we saw a sharp sell off in the Dow Jones which closed 139 points lower at 17,152.

In addition, China's Finance Minister admitted that his government will not make any policy adjustments despite signs of a possible slowdown in economic growth.

That put further downside pressure on stocks, restricting any potential rebound.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
23-Sep-14 [5:31am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 closed down -80.0pts (-1.17%) at 6,759.2
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones closed down -126pts (-0.73%) at 17,152
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 closed down -18.2pts (-0.91%) at 1,991.0
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed down -41.9pts (-1.02%) at 4,052.3
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed down -102pts (-0.63%) at 16,163
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 closed down -76.3pts (-0.78%) at 9,713.9
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 closed down -35.8pts (-0.80%) at 4,421.7
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 closed down -266pts (-1.27%) at 20,675
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 closed down -58pts (-0.53%) at 10,920
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed down -16pts (-0.49%) at 3,252
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 closed down -4.0pts (-0.94%) at 420.4
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed down -12.0pts (-0.14%) at 8,807.0

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
22-Sep-14 [4:37pm] Heading into the close in London, the FTSE 100 is down 70 points as a growth warning from Beijing shakes natural resource stocks to the core.

The senior UK index is off 1% as the mining stocks go into meltdown.

China delivered a thinly veiled growth warning overnight which has sent the mining stocks into a tailspin, and traders are preparing themselves for terrible manufacturing figures from HSBC's survey of Chinese manufacturing tomorrow.

If Tesco is trying to gain market share and credibility it is going about it the wrong way.

The supermarket has admitted it may have overstated its profits by £250 million, and traders have lost respect for the company.

Now that the element of doubt has entered the equation, it is no wonder the stock has crashed through the £2 mark.

In the US, the Dow is trading at 17,213, down 66 points on the day.

William Dudley of the New York Federal Reserve stated that the strong dollar may hurt US growth.

He also pointed out that inflation isn't at a level that warrants an interest rate rise, but the Fed decision will be data driven.

Last week Alibaba got off to a flying start when it listed on the NYSE, but traders have pulled the rug from underneath it today and the stock is down 3% in early trading.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
22-Sep-14 [3:47pm] UK Stock Markets

After such a busy last week, European markets were predictably lacklustre today and traded with a downward bias as concerns over China's growth started to bite before the release of tomorrow's manufacturing data.

The FTSE 100 is also under additional pressure after Tesco reportedly overstated its first half profits.

Shares in Tesco have been crushed following an accounting irregularity reported by new CEO Dave Lewis that reportedly overstated half-year profits by as much as £250,000,000.

Hopes of a turnaround at Tesco after prior CEO Phillip Clarke departed two months ago have been dashed.

Lewis is not responsible and has seemingly acted on the front foot since learning of the news but wider questions are being asked of Clarke and the Board of Directors including Chairman Richard Broadbent.

The more immediate worry for investors than the resulting investigation is that this is the 3rd profit warning in two months for Tesco who in the last quarter lost almost 1.5% of market share particularly to discount newcomers Aldi and Lidl.

The FTSE 100 saw a sharp turnaround on Friday after briefly touching the psychological 6,900 level and is now pushing towards the bottom of its recent trading range around 6,750.

An expected drop in Chinese economic data can sometimes push markets higher if there is some expectation it could lead to economic stimulus but Finance Minister Lou Jiwei soon put hopes of government intervention to bed saying there will be no change in policy because of one economic indicator.

The fears of a slowdown in China despite the recent government stimulus efforts are sending the mining sector lower today on the FTSE 100.

Other supermarkets were feeling the heat today, with J Sainsbury and Morrisons both down over 2%.

The defensive utility sector was best performing with SSE and National Grid ahead.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
22-Sep-14 [1:57pm] European bourses are trading in the red this afternoon with the FTSE 100 down 47 and Germany's DAX down 10.

Similarly, US futures are pointing towards a negative open this afternoon, set to step back from record high levels as China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei has said they are not to make any major changes to its economic policy that is currently in place.

Heading into this afternoon, all eyes will be back on European Central Bank President Mario Draghi who is set to testify on monetary policy before the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Committee in Brussels at 2:00pm.

Later this evening, FOMC member William Dudley is expected to speak in New York regarding interest rates; therefore volatility should be expected.

Update by Sam Fox, Trader, Spreadex

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 - 16 Sep 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 16 Sep 2014 9 Sep 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1.9:1 23,369 11,453 11,916 171,584 42,138
S&P 500 Index 3:1 11,231 -15 11,246 217,527 47,659
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2.4:1 13,649 10,975 2,674 111,953 38,795
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 6.8:1 35,535 36,535 -1,000 96,996 -8,019

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-Sep-14

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