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
17-Dec-14 [4:15pm] Although cautious ahead of the Fed meeting, indices are continuing to rally quietly off the lows of the week, with the FTSE 100 now unchanged for the day.

Yesterday may have been the day that the December selling stopped and the Santa rally began, and that picture seems to be reinforced today.

We have seen further attempts to push indices down but end-of-year buyers appear to be returning in force, with European indices firmly off their lows and the FTSE 100 consolidating its hold above 6300.

Dixons Carphone continues to sit at the top of the board after its maiden first-half results, which proved sufficient to justify the rally in the share price over the past few months.

Meanwhile oil and mining names crept higher, on hopes that raw materials prices may be girding themselves up for a late bounce to end the year.

European indices look at lot healthier than they did just two days ago, helped along by a Eurozone CPI figure that remained in-line with expectations and assuaged building deflation fears.

The gyrations in the US yesterday unsettled investors but there appears to be a degree of confidence that tonight's Fed statement will not err too much on the hawkish side of things.

Oil and its impact on inflation has boosted the cause of those that think the statement will see no change, and this grouping would thus argue that it sets up the year-end rally quite nicely.

US markets remain nervous, but a suitably encouraging Fed could unleash an impressive upward move into the final days of the year.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
17-Dec-14 [11:07am] Volatility was on the rise in US markets yesterday, with a small let-up in oil price declines allowing energy stocks to recover.

However, concerns over the impact of emerging market troubles especially in China saw markets close at the lows.

On Wednesday, US markets look to open higher in the hope that an expected slowing in inflationary pressures and unrest in emerging markets may force the Federal Reserve to delay major changes to its statement and/or scale back economic projections.

Will the Fed Change It's Language?

Despite these hopes, market consensus is for the Fed to remove the 'considerable time' language from its statement in reference to how long rates will remain zero-bound.

Removal of the language is well overdue since the US economy has been doing pretty well since the contraction in the first quarter.

The Fed is more than likely to use the opportunity of market consensus that it will remove the 'considerable time' language to go ahead and do it.

After almost 1000 points lost in the Dow Jones since the peak on 5 December, there is considerable room for an upside surprise from the Fed.

A surprise could come in the form of leaving the 'considerable time' language in the statement, minimal change to its economic projections via the dot-plot, or Janet Yellen being overly dovish in her press conference.

Apple, like the rest of the market saw big swings in its price yesterday, up and down 1.8%, as the company won a class action lawsuit that accused the company of anti-competitive practices, with the aim of monopolising the digital music market.

American Apparel shares are expected to open substantially higher after the company fired founder and CEO Dov Charney for misconduct.

Fed Ex and Oracle are scheduled to report earnings.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open 10 points higher at 1,982 with the Dow Jones expected to open 85 points higher at 17,153 and the NASDAQ 15 points higher at 4,104.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
17-Dec-14 [10:29am] The FTSE, down 43 points, remains above its two-week low but nervousness remains the overriding emotion on trading floors.

With numerous economic hurdles yet to be cleared, Santa's arrival on equity markets has yet to materialise.

Considering the current fears over the Eurozone it's not surprising that the MPC has remained unchanged in its voting.

The benefits of average earnings up to 1.4% has somewhat been negated by the increase in unemployment levels back to 6%.

Unchanged Eurozone inflation figures will have been met with a sigh of relief from ECB President, Mario Draghi, who has probably used up his entire stock of Santa-tokens in that one wish.

Dixons Carphone's first-half figures are full of festive cheer as the combined company has seen a 30% rise in pre-tax profits, and was ahead of schedule for the completion of the merger.

Confirmation that the company was well on track to meet its full-year targets saw the markets move shares higher by as much as 3.5% in early trading.

Saga's trading update was short and to the point, with the company confirming it remains in line with market expectations, leaving traders waiting for confirmation of its long-term strategy in January.

Babcock International has embarked on a little late December shopping and has acquired Defence Support Group from the Ministry of Defence for £140 million.

Triple-digit moves are now the norm as far as the Dow is concerned.

European woes, falling oil prices and the collapsing Russian rouble, together with today's FOMC statement, will be closely scrutinised for indications of the Fed's interest rate rising agenda.

Out of sync with the standard reporting periods for US corporations, both FedEx and Oracle will be posting second-quarter figures today.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow to start 80 points higher at 17,360.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
17-Dec-14 [10:11am]

Indices Dip as Safe Haven Bonds Hit Record Lows

Concerns over the brewing financial crisis in Russia and the rout in oil prices has seen traders rush into safe haven bonds, with UK, German and Japanese yields hitting all-time lows.

The FTSE is trading lower this morning, with BT Group dipping after announcing plans to target EE.

Update by David Papier, Sales Trader, ETX Capital
17-Dec-14 [7:32am] US indices closed lower on Tuesday pressured by shares in the Retailing, Software & Services and Consumer Durables & Apparel sectors.

On the US economic data front, the Markit Preliminary Manufacturing PMI fell to 53.7 in December from 54.8 the prior month (55.2 expected).

The S&P 500 (1972.74) remains below its 20 DMA (2049.08 - negative slope), and 50 DMA (2001.34 - flat slope).

European markets are expected to open on a negative note.

Update by InterTrader
17-Dec-14 [5:30am] European equities are set to resume their slump on the open, tracking a timely sell off in the US.

You could forgive European traders for going home with a sense of relief yesterday as it appeared that the sell off might have found a bottom.

However, with impeccable timing, just after the European markets closed, the US did an about face and summarily sold off, adding another consecutive day of heavy losses.

With OPEC seemingly comfortable with the volatility in the oil markets and unlikely to call an emergency meeting before June, Russia looks like it's about to implode.

Everyone's starting to panic like it's 1998 and you just know that somewhere in the financial system there's another LTCM, leveraged beyond all belief, praying that the recent moves in the market are just a statistical anomaly.

Just like the previous day, US stocks gave back intraday gains towards the close despite a rally in oil producers.

This time the tech companies led the final hour sell off, with the Dow Jones losing 129 points overall to 17,080.

Later today, investors will be closely following the FOMC meeting, wondering if the pledge to keep interest rates at record low levels for a 'considerable time' will finally be dropped.

Whilst FOMC day would normally see a subdued session as traders wait to hear from the central bank, traders may go into damage limitation mode today as the geopolitical jitters get whipped up.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
16-Dec-14 [11:21am]

UK Banking Stress Test Results

With the Bank of England releasing the results of its key stress tests, IG talks about which banks passed and failed, as well as the criteria upon which they were judged.

Update by IG Index
16-Dec-14 [10:47am] US markets fell under their own weight on Monday, essentially tracking the direction of oil prices.

After a brief spell in positive territory, oil prices hit a wall of selling after United Arab Emirates energy minister referred to OPEC inaction even at $40 per barrel.

Whilst oil is still crashing, US stocks are looking towards a higher open on glimmers of hope from improvements in the outlook for European manufacturing and services ahead of US housing and manufacturing data.

The risk to US markets now is that slow global growth catches up with them.

The S&P 500 is still up over 8% for the year, but large numbers of global indices are now in negative territory.

The notable exception to the global slump in equities in 2014 are the Chinese and Japanese stock markets, which are rallying thanks to increasing central bank stimulus.

Fed Policy Meeting Remains Key

The Fed begin their two-day meeting on Tuesday and markets will eagerly await whether the Fed is closer to lifting off from its zero-bound interest rate policy and large balance sheet.

Further signs that the Fed is moving from loose to tight monetary policy will be the deciding factor as to whether US markets follow China and Japan higher or the rest of the world lower.

Comments from the Fed's James Bullard on October 16th that the Fed should continue QE just before the program was scheduled to end prompted the undoing of a 10% correction in US markets and a series of new highs in the Dow and S&P 500.

If Bullard's October comments are to be taken as a gauge of the Fed's sensitivity towards markets, it could be concluded the Fed will not want to rock the boat by removing the 'considerable time' language from its statement while stocks markets are sharply retreating.

If the Fed infers no rate-hike yet by keeping the 'considerable time' language in its statement; that maybe enough to goad the Santa rally into the year end.

Google Faces Further European Fines Over Privacy

Google is facing increasing European headwinds, this time at the hands of a Dutch privacy watchdog looking to levy a €15bn fine.

The fact is that Google are pushing the boundaries on privacy and that will face increasing resistance from users and regulators, especially from cash-strapped European governments hampered by weak growth.

If Microsoft's difficulties at the hands of the EU are anything to go by, Google will face prolonged legal wrangles, but should be able to come out alright on the other side.

The risk is that if enough of these fines crop up, that may be enough to knock down earnings growth from quarter to quarter enough to cause shorter-term investors to sell-out.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open 9 points higher at 1,998 with the Dow Jones expected to open 71 points higher at 17,248 and the NASDAQ 17 points higher at 4,174.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
16-Dec-14 [10:26am]

Weak US Manufacturing Sees the Dow Drop

The Dow slumped as oil companies continued to struggle and a Fed measure of Manufacturing turned negative.

All UK banks have passed the BoE stress tests apart from the troubled Co-Op bank.

Update by Sam Gunter, Sales Trader, ETX Capital
16-Dec-14 [10:13am] In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 23 points at 6205, as the mining sector has made a sudden swing to positive territory.

The London market continues to be pulled in both directions by natural resources stocks as crippling oil prices and crumbling manufacturing figures out of China have ensured choppy trading.

The Russian central bank has found out that 'You can run, but you can't hide'.

They may have surprised markets by raising rates to 17%, but this erratic move still wasn't enough to stop the rouble from returning to its losing streak.

British banks are clutching onto fractional gains after the Bank of England stress test results were released this morning.

Lloyds and RBS passed by the skin of their teeth; both bailed-out banks beat the capital requirements by the narrowest of margins.

Traders were hoping that Lloyds would restart paying dividends next year, but today's revelations suggest the banks needs all the cash in its coffers.

2015 will be an important year for RBS and Lloyds as a change of government is on the cards.

Unfortunately, tax payer shareholding in the financial institutions is looking less likely to be reduced any time soon, given the state of the respective capital structures.

BT Group are back above £4 as the company has taken one step closer to becoming Britain's largest one stop shop for phone line, broadband, TV and mobile services.

BT is targeting EE for £12.5 billion in the hope it will corner the so-called quad-play market.

If the deal goes ahead, we can expect a big shake up in the telecoms sector as BT is tipped to succeed where Virgin Media has failed.

In the US, we are calling the Dow up 35 points at 17,215, as problems in Moscow seem a million miles away from Wall Street.

Traders' attention is squarely on the Federal Reserve's meeting tomorrow, and if the US central bank wasn't already concerned about global growth, the rumblings out of Russia and China today could result in dovish language.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
16-Dec-14 [8:11am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 16.9pts (0.27%) at 6,199.0
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 49pts (0.28%) at 17,245
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 is trading up 7.9pts (0.40%) at 1,998.2
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 12.4pts (0.30%) at 4,174.0
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 40pts (0.24%) at 16,764
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 2.2pts (0.02%) at 9,349.5
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading down -1.6pts (-0.04%) at 4,011.5
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 115pts (0.64%) at 18,168
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 16pts (0.16%) at 9,926
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 5pts (0.17%) at 2,990
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 is trading up 0.8pts (0.20%) at 397.5
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 33.5pts (0.39%) at 8,725.2

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
16-Dec-14 [7:30am] US indices extended their losses on Monday pressured by shares in Automobiles & Components, Consumer Services and Banks sectors.

On the US economic data front, the Industrial Production rose 1.3% MoM in November vs a revised 0.1% MoM rise the prior month (+0.7% expected).

The S&P 500 (1989.63) remains below its 20 DMA (2052.50 - flat slope), and broke below its 50 DMA (2001.18 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to open on a negative note.

Update by InterTrader
16-Dec-14 [6:10am] Compared to the recent sell off, European equities are set to start with miniscule gains this morning.

However, don't be fooled into thinking this is a sign of a reversal in sentiment as bargain hunters step up to the plate, it's probably more to do with shorts booking some profits following the 7-9% slumps we've seen over the last week.

Indices now seem to be inextricably tied to oil prices and with OPEC saying they are comfortable with $40 per barrel, it looks like there could be a lot more pain ahead for the bulls.

Initially, US stocks rebounded on the back of strong manufacturing data, with both Industrial Production and the Capacity Utilization figures surpassing estimates.

However, everyone is now closely watching the sell off in oil, which seems to be taking precedence over everything else.

So the Dow Jones resumed its tumble in the afternoon session, losing 60 points to 17,198.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
16-Dec-14 [4:11am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 closed down -31.9pts (-0.51%) at 6,182.1
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones closed down -63pts (-0.36%) at 17,196
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 closed down -8.2pts (-0.41%) at 1,990.3
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed down -27.8pts (-0.66%) at 4,161.6
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed down -444pts (-2.59%) at 16,724
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 closed down -172.7pts (-1.81%) at 9,347.3
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 closed down -56.1pts (-1.38%) at 4,013.1
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 closed down -573pts (-3.08%) at 18,053
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 closed down -239pts (-2.35%) at 9,910
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed down -59pts (-1.94%) at 2,985
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 closed down -5.6pts (-1.39%) at 396.7
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed down -141.5pts (-1.60%) at 8,691.7

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
15-Dec-14 [4:33pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is down 60 points, as oil prices begin to weigh on the index once more.

Oil certainly has the whip hand over the FTSE 100 at present, with the gainers of the morning in the energy sector fading rapidly away.

Christmas might be just over a week away but we're evidently still in a 'sell the rally' kind of mode.

Santa rallies might be the norm, but blindly rushing in is a bad idea at any time of the year and there will be a few overeager buyers nursing losses this afternoon.

One stock that is doing well is ASOS, which continues to enjoy positive momentum from figures last week.

On the continent, the situation is equally grim, with indices pushing through Friday's lows.

From this point onwards, volume is going to be on a downward trajectory, which points to increased volatility even if the coming sessions see something of a rally beginning to take shape.

By comparison with Europe, markets in the US are much calmer, but they have still proved to be in a weak frame of mind.

A poor Empire manufacturing number did not help, even if production data was of a more optimistic tone.

Santa is supposed to be on his way, but gloomy predictions about the price of oil provide little rationale for buying, especially in a week with a Fed meeting on the calendar.

Sentiment last week switched from dramatically bullish to excessively bearish, but reasons to buy have yet to be seen and thus the weakness of last week appears to have more time to run.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index

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

Financial Spreads » "With you get all the normal
advantages of Spread Betting plus..." » read Financial Spreads review.

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 - 9 Dec 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 9 Dec 2014 2 Dec 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 2:1 21,288 26,599 -5,311 141,923 -8,307
S&P 500 Index 1.5:1 5,116 7,704 -2,588 154,879 180
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 3.2:1 15,045 14,544 501 91,693 471
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 2:1 26,436 29,451 -3,015 145,725 19,120

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 17-Dec-14

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