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
29-Aug-14 [4:11pm] Heading towards the European close, markets are struggling to hold their ground, slipping into the red following modest gains this morning.

The FTSE did its best all day to stay in positive territory, despite the weakness of Tesco and the rest of the supermarket sector, but the will to fight disappeared in the last hour or so as buyers dried up ahead of the US Labor Day holiday on Monday.

Friday afternoons have been prey recently to last minute Ukraine worries, which have provided handy excuses for a spot of late-day selling, and today appears to be no exception.

Tesco shareholders have spent the day coming to terms with reality, much like their peers in Morrisons had to earlier this year.

They have been patient up until now with the idea of lower profits, but the idea of lower dividends is a step too far.

Nonetheless, the company has taken the right step, and some investors have only themselves to blame if they thought their dividends were somehow sacrosanct.

A new era starts on Monday, and the new CEO will hope that his honeymoon gives him time to put the necessary rescue plans in place.

US indices are faltering, but if the S&P 500 finishes the day above 1991 it can chalk up another landmark, a fresh record high on a weekly basis and a fourth consecutive week of gains as well.

The week has seen a dramatic decline in volumes, so the rally looks to be built on shaky foundations, but the arrival of September should see the return of volume.

Against a backdrop of improving macroeconomic data and rising earnings, equities still look like the place to be.

Some caution is still required given the situation in Ukraine, but with NATO ministers gathering soon for a meeting, President Putin is unlikely to take any action while the alliance's leadership is concentrated in one place.

So long as all-out war is avoided, equities are still likely to remain relatively unperturbed.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
29-Aug-14 [3:14pm] European Stock Markets

After starting the day in positive territory, European markets have struggled to make any headway, slipping back as expectations of action at next week's European Central Bank rate meeting get scaled back.

While Europe's markets have enjoyed a largely positive week and a positive month, the gains are nowhere near what they could have been after the turbo charged start to the week seen on Monday and Tuesday, and we still remain some distance away from the highs seen in June and July.

For now we seem to be in a holding pattern awaiting a big week for macro data next week from the US and from Europe.

Traders are also waiting to see what comes next from events in Ukraine, with growing evidence that Russia is stepping up its efforts to help the rebels in the east of the Ukraine to such an extent that Putin is no longer bothering to hide it, praising the rebels and making accusations about Kiev.

They say talk is cheap but the nature of the rhetoric from both sides makes a peaceful outcome to this stand-off highly unlikely in the short term, and the fear is that a careless comment here or there could well set off a further escalation in tensions, which for now markets seem fairly sanguine about.

On the plus side, AstraZeneca shares have continued their advances of this week as investors bet that Pfizer might well be tempted to return with another offer in the wake of their failed negotiations earlier this year.

Also helping was the start of a new cancer drug trial in the US, which is successful, could prove to fairly lucrative.

Also higher RSA Insurance is doing well after Nomura raised its price target on the company by 10%.

On the downside, the supermarket sector has had a pretty awful day after this morning's profit warning from Tesco which saw the shares hit their lowest levels since 2003, after trading at 222p.

US Stock Markets

US markets opened higher today after taking some comfort from fairly measured remarks from President Obama to the recent escalations by Russia in Ukraine in the past 24 hours.

That being said, trading remains cautious today ahead of this weekend's Labor Day holiday in the US.

The latest economic data continued to paint a rather subdued picture with respect to the US consumer.

We've already seen recent retail sales and durable goods numbers suggest that the US consumer remains reluctant to spend money, despite consumer confidence being at 7 year highs.

The latest personal spending data appears to confirm this subdued outlook, after it dropped from 0.4% in June to slide 0.1% in July, contrasting starkly with the consumer confidence numbers.

The latest Chicago manufacturing PMI bounced back strongly in August, rebounding to 64.3, after dropping sharply to 52.6 in July.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
29-Aug-14 [1:40pm] European stocks were little changed on Friday, finishing the month on a quiet note.

The STOXX Europe which takes into account the biggest 600 stocks within the EU is on track for its first monthly gain since May.

The FTSE edged higher, helped by stronger pharmaceutical stocks on renewed M&A talks, offsetting another profit warning by Tesco.

AstraZeneca led the risers, climbing 2.2% following a report which showed Pfizer could resume takeover talks.

Tesco shares dropped 5.3% after lowering its full-year profit forecast and its interim dividend.

US futures are indicating a higher open with the S&P 500 rebounding from yesterday's drop to post its biggest monthly gain since February.

Gold gave back some of its recent gains, dropping by $4 as investors weighed signs of an improving US economy against tension in Ukraine.

Data this morning showed that European inflation slowed in August whilst the unemployment rate remained close to a record.

The recent data increases pressure on the European Central Bank to take action to help the faltering recovery.

The core inflation rate, which strips out volatile items such as energy, food, tobacco and alcohol, actually rose 0.9% from 0.8% in July, slightly beating expectations.

Update by Lee Mumford, Trader, Spreadex
29-Aug-14 [10:33am] The FTSE has managed to shrug off any negative sentiment from last night's US trading and is up 12 points in the first couple of hours trading.

Tesco has shocked the markets by announcing another profit warning, slashing its dividend by 75% and rushing in the new CEO Dave Lewis a month before he was originally due to start.

All this smacks of desperation and the change in dividend will see the 6% yield plummet down to just 1.5%, a move that is likely to trigger aggressive selling from those who had previously been investing for the income.

Unsurprisingly UK food retailers dominate the list of stocks falling in the FTSE with Sainsburys, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer all tumbling.

Persistent rumours continue to linger that Pfizer has not completely given up hope of acquiring AstraZeneca, as the shares have added another 2.4% in morning trading.

As the days tick down to September's Scottish independence vote a number of poles now indicate that the 'yes votes' have seen their chances greatly improved following the second of the two debates.

This is in contrast to the IG binary bet which is still suggesting an 83% possibility of a 'no vote', a very different picture when people are putting money where their mouth is.

The week has seen a continuation of mixed messages from the European Central Bank and Eurozone nations (Germany) as the debate over when stimulus can be added, before or after further austerity, rages on.

This morning's Eurozone inflation figures have, as expected, dropped to 0.3%.

Considering the weak inflation figures we saw from both Germany and Spain yesterday, this was always on the cards.

US markets closed lower across the board last night as the wobbles from global equity markets dented the confidence of Wall Street traders.

Future indications are already pointing towards the S&P 500 retaking the 2,000 level in today's trading.

It is worth remembering that Monday will see US markets closed as the nation celebrates Labor Day, and the looming long weekend may encourage a bout of good old fashioned profit-taking before the close tonight.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 38 points higher at 17,117.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
29-Aug-14 [10:13am] Escalating tensions in Ukraine have seen European markets open cautiously this morning.

Update by Mark Priest, Market Analyst, ETX Capital
29-Aug-14 [10:05am] If today's rebound in Europe is anything to go by then yesterday's decline for US markets could well be a one off for this week.

Concerns about events in Ukraine saw US markets fall back for the first time this week, but it would appear that this morning's rebound in Europe is helping in pushing US futures higher, and potentially see the S&P 500 open at an all-time high.

Markets appear to have taken some comfort from President Obama's measured response last night, when he declined to call recent developments in Ukraine an invasion.

While many would argue that is mere semantics, the fact is that stock markets appear more buoyant today.

That being said, with the long weekend in the US coming up it would be a very foolish investor who didn't act cautiously with respect to their exposure.

This is particularly true given that events in Ukraine remain quite fluid and the potential for escalation grows by the day, especially as President Putin is becoming less concerned about hiding his support for the separatists.

After yesterday's surprisingly positive US Q2 GDP upgrade attention now turns to the latest US inflation numbers with the release of the latest PCE data for July.

This is expected to show that prices remained stable, coming in at 1.6%.

While growth in the US appears to be recovering the consumer looks set to continue to remain cautious with the latest personal spending data set to fall to 0.2% from 0.4%, while personal incomes are expected to rise 0.3%, down from 0.4%.

Chicago PMI for August is expected to recover from its shock drop to 52.6 in July, coming in at 56.8.

Will Big Lots See Big Gains?

In company news, Big Lots will announce its latest Q2 results in a discount retail sector environment which remains increasingly competitive.

The company's share price performance this year has been impressive, up over 45%, after management made the decision to pull out of Canada, and refocus on its home market.

With same store sales starting to improve, the markets will be hoping for more of the same today.

The Dow Jones is expected to open 43.43 points higher at 17,123, whilst the S&P 500 is expected to open 6.6 points higher at 2,002.80.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
29-Aug-14 [8:06am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 6.6pts (0.10%) at 6,816.3
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones is trading down -9pts (-0.05%) at 17,105
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 is trading down -0.7pts (-0.03%) at 2,000.7
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -1.5pts (-0.04%) at 4,073.6
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 8pts (0.05%) at 15,419
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 2.7pts (0.03%) at 9,485.1
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 3.5pts (0.08%) at 4,378.8
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 30pts (0.15%) at 20,436
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 9pts (0.08%) at 10,734
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 8pts (0.25%) at 3,173
Neutral Stocks The Holland 25 is trading flat at 412.9
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 22.5pts (0.26%) at 8,657.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
29-Aug-14 [7:34am] US indices declined on Thursday pressured by shares in the Consumer Durables & Apparel, Banks, and Insurance sectors.

The S&P 500 (1996.74) remains above its 20 DMA (1959.4 - positive slope), and its 50 DMA (1965.4 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a negative note.

Update by InterTrader
29-Aug-14 [7:26am] Just as the geopolitical situation between Ukraine and Russia looked to have started easing, this soon took a U-turn during yesterday's trading session as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of an invasion.

This quickly weighed on markets with both Europe and the US trading in the red, however, some of these losses were recovered later in the day.

Even though we saw a dip in the markets, the news didn't cause major losses that we once saw which could potentially mean the increasing tensions have already been priced into markets.

Obama was quick to comment on the situation with further threats of sanctions, but he was careful not to call the situation an 'invasion'.

Asian shares tumbled throughout its session which was down to a combination of Ukraine fears and worse than expected economic data out in Japan.

The Nikkei fell 0.6% whilst investors flocked to the safe-haven yen.

We have a particularly important day today as investors eagerly await Eurozone inflation data set to be released this morning.

Depending on the outcome of this figure, some believe the European Central Bank could begin to change policies as soon as next week.

EUR/USD is currently trading at around $1.3169 ahead of the figure.

European bourses are looking to open marginally firmer this morning, with the FTSE and DAX both up 2 and 23 points respectively.

Update by Sam Fox, Trader, Spreadex
29-Aug-14 [6:02am] European equities are set to open mixed as traders struggle to asses the flare up in Ukraine.

There are accusations that the Russian military has been crossing into Ukraine despite rebuttals from the Kremlin about lost paratroopers and vacationing Russian regulars.

Although spread trading markets have traded a touch weaker over the last couple of sessions, they aren't reacting as though this is a full territorial invasion.

As long as the media keeps portraying it as an 'incursion' traders may shrug off the situation in Ukraine as a limited, contained conflict.

However, it seems that Russia has persistently and consistently escalated the conflict but with no clear end objective.

Traders will have to mull over how far into Ukraine Russia is intending to incur and if that point is beyond the West/NATO's tolerance.

US stocks initially tumbled on the news that a third front in the fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels had opened up.

Later on US retail earnings also disappointed the global markets, accelerating the slump.

However, the GDP data came in better-than-expected, reversing the daily trend towards the close.

So the Dow Jones ended rather flat around 17,114.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
29-Aug-14 [5:35am] Throughout the first part of this week there had been a significant amount of optimism that we might see the potential for an easing of Ukraine tensions.

There was also the prospect that the ECB might well look at some form of further easing at next week's rate meeting.

As we head into the US long weekend and the end of the month, the odds are rising that neither of these events is likely to unfold, hence the pullback seen in the last day or so, which has taken place despite a surprise improvement in US economic data, after US Q2 GDP was revised upwards to 4.2%.

The optimism first started to get dialled back on Wednesday when German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble suggested that ECB President Mario Draghi had been over interpreted with his remarks last week, followed by unnamed ECB sources claiming that any action next week was unlikely unless there was a significant drop in inflation numbers this week.

Yesterday's German CPI numbers pretty much confirmed that yesterday, coming in as expected while the July M3 numbers showed some improvement, which means that unless we see a shocker of an EU CPI number this morning any further action next week can be pretty much ruled out.

Expectations are for August CPI to come in at 0.3%, down slightly from the previous 0.4%, while core prices are expected to remain unchanged at 0.8%.

New Front Opened in Ukraine

The extra nudge lower yesterday came on reports that Russian troops were operating in Ukraine, with NATO officials claiming that Russia had well over 1,000 troops in the country helping shore up the separatists position, as well as opening a new front nearer to the Black Sea.

For all President Putin's denials that Russian troops aren't operating in Ukraine, we get new evidence every day to pretty much confirm that they are.

Yesterday's reports of Russian backed separatists moving into Ukraine further south appears to have raised the stakes further in the ongoing conflict between the Ukrainian army and separatist forces.

There had been some optimism earlier this week that the meeting between President Putin and Ukraine President Poroshenko could well be a catalyst for a reduction in tensions.

It turns out that the opposite could well be the case, as once again Putin's conciliatory words are not matched by his deeds, or more to the point to the actions of his forces.

One thing is certain, the escalation in the last 24 hours would suggest that more sanctions are likely to be in the offing, as the tension goes up a notch, and CFD trading investors would do well to take note of this.

Italian Unemployment and Growth Data

Alongside today's EU CPI data we also have the latest unemployment data from Italy and the EU for July which is expected to come in at 12.3% and 11.5% respectively, unchanged from the previous month.

Italian Q2 GDP is also expected to be confirmed as contracting by 0.1%.

It's also an important day for US data in light of expectations about an improving economy and a rise in rates.

The latest PCE numbers for July are expected to remain unchanged at 1.6%, but if they show signs of an increase in inflation pressures expect to see further upward pressure on the US dollar.

Chicago PMI for August is expected to recover from its shock drop to 52.6 in July, coming in at 56.8.

Concerns about consumer spending habits are expected to remain, with personal spending set to fall back in July to 0.2% from 0.4%.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
29-Aug-14 [4:06am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 closed down -10.6pts (-0.16%) at 6,809.7
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 10pts (0.06%) at 17,113
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 2.7pts (0.14%) at 2,001.4
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 3.3pts (0.08%) at 4,075.1
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed down -55pts (-0.36%) at 15,411
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 closed down -70.0pts (-0.73%) at 9,482.4
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 closed down -10.6pts (-0.24%) at 4,375.3
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 closed down -343pts (-1.65%) at 20,406
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 closed down -102pts (-0.94%) at 10,725
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed down -23pts (-0.72%) at 3,165
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 0.3pts (0.07%) at 412.9
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed down -33.5pts (-0.39%) at 8,634.5

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
28-Aug-14 [4:06pm] The FTSE 100 has not been immune to the global equity markets selloff, and heads towards the close down 0.25%.

Once again the mining sector continues to be a millstone around the neck of the FTSE, as it has done its best to drag the index lower.

This has been compounded by the selloff in US equities.

GlaxoSmithKline has announced US authorities have given the green light to earlier-than-expected human trials for its Ebola vaccine drug.

This is an encouraging occasion where common sense appears to have prevailed, as the World Health Organisation previously warned that the true number of those exposed to Ebola may be in the tens of thousands.

Even though CSR has rejected an initial offer from Microchip Technology, the shares remain up over 34% on the day as both parties asses their positions.

Shares in the UK-based CSR has been subdued of late but, being well-placed to take advantage of the shifting trends of connectivity, it will be reluctant to sell itself short.

Aggressive institutional downgrades to Ocado's share price has seen the struggling food retail distributor's shares drop by over 13% on the day, ironically at the same time as WM Morrisons remains one of the FTSE's highest climbers.

Self confidence in tackling large physiological hurdles has never previously been an issue for US investors but, having popped above 2,000 on the S&P 500, a distinct 'risk off' mentality has grasped traders.

Of course with this being a long weekend due to Labor Day on Monday seeing US markets shut, this could be more of a case of good old fashioned profit taking.

This afternoon has also seen US preliminary quarterly GDP figures beat expectations with its biggest quarterly rise since the Q1 2010.

This should also go some way towards wiping out the memory of last quarter's contraction, an isolated anomaly in an otherwise perfect four-year run.

Ahead of its IPO launch, Alibaba has posted first-quarter profits that have tripled.

However, with the acquisition of 26 companies for $16 billion, uncertainty surrounds the company.

The question remains, is it buying this profitability or is it from growth in its existing operations?

The IG grey market continues to value the Chinese giant at over $200 billion.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
28-Aug-14 [3:55pm] European Stock Markets

Shares in Europe started on the back foot and never got the chance to take a step forward today after weak German inflation and unemployment data was made all the more worrisome by the prospective of no extra stimulus from the ECB in its upcoming meeting.

Downside momentum accelerated for stocks when Ukrainian President Poroshenko said that 15,000 Russian soldiers have been deployed into the Donetsk region in the east of the country.

A Russian 'incursion' into Ukraine significantly dents the idea of a de-escalation after the Presidential talks yesterday.

The FTSE 100 stalled out just ahead of the July high yesterday and was dragged down today by a slump in the heavyweight mining sector with Rio Tinto and Anglo American both down over 2%.

The more defensive utility sector was the order of the day with all stocks higher barring United Utilities coming off poor results yesterday.

Morrison's was a top riser as shares prolonged yesterday's rally prompted by an industry report that showed an improvement in sales against a fall seen at Tesco.

FTSE 250 stock Afren was down over 7% after suspending two more directors for more 'unauthorised payments'

US Stock Markets

Economic data was universally positive for the US economy today with growth, employment and housing data all showing a pickup, yet after an extended rally, the S&P and Dow Jones weren't able to capitalise.

When positive news can't generate a positive reaction for an asset it shows relative weakness and indicates that today could be the beginning of a larger correction for the market.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
28-Aug-14 [1:44pm] European stocks continued to trade in the red, dropping from one-month highs as geopolitical uncertainty resurfaced.

Investors reduced their exposure to risk after pro-Russian rebels widened their attack on Ukraine's forces.

US futures are indicating a lower open for US equities, with the Dow Jones showing a drop of 60 points.

US jobless claims matched Wall Street estimates whilst US GDP showed a 4.2% gain, exceeding the 3.9% expectation.

American investors will also be focused on US pending home sales data later this afternoon.

With the political unrest in Ukraine and Russia reappearing, this sent the price of gold $13 dollars higher to trade just shy of $1,300 an ounce as investors rush into the precious metal as a safe haven.

Update by Lee Mumford, 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.

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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 - 19 Aug 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 19 Aug 2014 12 Aug 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1:1.1 -2,525 -7,474 4,949 111,288 1,370
S&P 500 Index 1.5:1 4,262 3,856 406 163,550 3,311
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2.2:1 9,557 10,047 -490 71,774 2,908
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 7.5:1 32,812 29,169 3,643 87,346 6,567

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 29-Aug-14

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