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:



Click on the tabs for key stock market indices, forex and equities markets.



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
24-Apr-14 [10:50am] US markets look set to open higher today as both Apple and Facebook reported better than expected earnings after yesterday's close.

This has helped ease concerns about the health of the tech sector which had driven recent market declines.

Today we have earnings releases from General Motors, Microsoft, Starbucks, Caterpillar, Visa and Verizon.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open 10 points higher at 1,885 with the Dow Jones expected to open 59 points higher at 16,560.

Sweet Apples

Having revised down estimates for this quarter in its last trading update, Apple significantly beat income and revenue estimates, showing a profit of 7% higher than the equivalent quarter last year.

iPhone sales were boosted from the deal with China Mobile however iPad sales dropped off amid increased competition from cheap tablets using the Android operating system.

Apple also boosted their share buyback by $30bn and split the stock seven ways.

CEO, Tim Cook seems keener to make these kinds of shareholder friendly moves than predecessor Steve Jobs.

With this kind of earnings growth the company has a good chance of drawing a line of support under its stock price but if Apple is to re-test the highs around $700 it will likely take another game-changing device.

Apple's PC market competitor Microsoft are expected to announce earnings of $0.63 per share on revenue of $20.39bn.

The PC market continues to slow but not at the rapid rate it was as the tablet market matures.

The company is concentrating on its enterprise business as well as its Xbox gaming console for revenue growth while it works on its longer term vision of teaming with Nokia to boost its presence in the mobile space.

Today's US Reports

General Motors is expected to report its first quarter earnings at $0.04 per share on revenue of $38.43bn.

Starbucks is expected to have earned $0.56 per share on revenue of $3.95bn in its Q2.

Caterpillar is estimated to report its Q1 earnings at $1.24 per share on revenue of $13.14bn

Visa is expected to show Q2 earnings of $2.18 per share on revenue of $3.19bn.

Verizon is expected to report its Q1 earnings at $0.87 per share on revenue of $30.70bn.

On the economic data front, US durable goods orders are expected to increase by 2.1% down slightly from 2.2% last month.

With larger orders received by Boeing in March than February, there is the potential for this number to surprise on the upside.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
24-Apr-14 [10:03am] In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 has risen above 6700, gaining 30 points after results from Facebook and Apple soothed frayed nerves.

Yesterday's price action was but a prelude to the big earnings from Apple and Facebook, and they have provided the much-needed reassurance that investors in tech stocks will have wanted.

Sentiment in London has been given a boost from the news, lifting the market to its highest levels in over six weeks.

Following on from the pharma merger activity earlier in the week, AstraZeneca results have given the sector yet another boost while pushing Astra's share price firmly above the all-time high of £41 seen in February.

Unilever's quarterly results signalled a good start to 2014, but now tech is back in vogue the stalwart defensive stocks are finding themselves out of favour once again, with Unilever shedding some of its recent gains.

Last night's figures from the tech sector will have encouraged investors that had begun to flee the sector in the momentum panic of several weeks ago.

Apple continues its transformation from a company that revolutionises the world to one that just keeps throwing out cash.

Whilst rising iPhone sales stole the headlines, the widening of margins will be of more interest in the longer term.

Mark Zuckerberg can afford to buy himself another hoody after Facebook's results, with advertising revenue doing exactly as hoped and rising year-on-year.

Growth in mobile is now the company's big hope, and it needs to deliver on that in the quarters to come.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to start 53 points higher at 16,554.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
24-Apr-14 [9:04am]

Tech Updates Boost Equity Markets



With some strong results from Facebook and Apple, European stock markets are on the rise.



Update by Ishaq Siddiqi, Market Analyst, ETX Capital
24-Apr-14 [8:08am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 9.7pts (0.15%) at 6,698.0
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones is trading down -13pts (-0.08%) at 16,551
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 is trading down -1.5pts (-0.08%) at 1,884.5
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -5.0pts (-0.14%) at 3,600.7
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading down -99pts (-0.68%) at 14,432
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading down -8.0pts (-0.08%) at 9,592.0
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 5.0pts (0.11%) at 4,474.8
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 88pts (0.41%) at 21,809
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 51pts (0.49%) at 10,484
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 10pts (0.31%) at 3,192
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 is trading down -0.1pts (-0.03%) at 398.6
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 8.5pts (0.10%) at 8,460.5

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
24-Apr-14 [7:53am] All eyes were on tech giants Facebook and Apple last night at they both smashed through their expectations, pushing NASDAQ futures higher.

Apple exceeded sales by selling 43.7m iPhones for the non-holiday quarter, significantly beating estimates and resulting in revenues driving a record 4.6% higher.

Apple took this positive opportunity to tell investors they are to repurchase $30bn of its shares whilst announcing a seven-for-one stock split, pushing shares in the company up over 7% during after-hours trading.

Facebook shares also enjoyed gains during after-hours, jumping over 3% as the social media giant announced profits have almost tripled thanks to its mobile advertising.

Throughout the night, Asian shares didn't take hold of the positive sentiment seen by US tech stocks as the Nikkei fell almost 1% as talks between Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe failed to make a deal.

Moving onto today's trading session, we could see some volatility around 09:00 as the German Ifo Business Climate figure is set to be released, forecasted at 110.5.

Forex markets could also get particularly choppy at 10:00am as ECB President Mario Draghi is set to speak at a conference in Amsterdam.

Continuing into the afternoon, USD Core Durable Goods Orders and Unemployment Claims are both due out at 1:30pm, forecasted to come in at 0.6% and 309k respectively.

We are calling the FTSE 100 up around 20 points this morning as European futures point towards a stronger open.

Update by Sam Fox, Trader, Spreadex
24-Apr-14 [7:39am] US indices declined on Wednesday pressured by shares in the Telecommunication Services, Software & Services and Retailing sectors.

The S&P 500 (1875.39) remains above its 20 DMA (1860.4 - positive slope) and its 50 DMA (1856.3 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a flat note.

Update by InterTrader
24-Apr-14 [6:07am] Despite some weaker earnings, worse than expected US new home sales and more disappointing manufacturing data from China, the market managed to avoid panic following such a good run over the last week or so.

In a session proving the underlying strength of the market, the Dow Jones only closed 12 points lower at 16,501.

After market hours, strong earnings reports from Facebook and Apple pushed futures markets higher so the bulls will be anticipating a positive US open later on this afternoon.

As a result, European equities are set to open higher as the strong tech earnings grab traders' attention.

However, the heady start is merely retracing yesterday's losses and underlies the indecision in sentiment at the moment.

The current sources of uncertainty in the world don't seem likely to be resolved any time soon so don't expect traders to get too bullish on today's early gains as the market is just wearing its current groove a little deeper.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
24-Apr-14 [6:06am] US markets finished lower for the first time in six days yesterday evening as investors digested some rather disappointing economic reports which prompted some light profit taking into the close.

This rather weak finish would have ordinarily prompted a flat open in Europe this morning but for events after the close which saw US futures jump sharply.

Both Facebook and Apple posted numbers that beat expectations by quite some distance, in the process sending both companies' shares sharply higher in post market trading.

Apple and Facebook Beat Expectations

Apple also announced that it was increasing its share buyback program to $90bn as well as announcing a 7 for 1 stock split from 9 June bringing the cost of owning the company's shares back into the reach of the smaller investor and helping to broaden the shareholder base.

Concerns about a fall in revenues proved to be unfounded as they came in at $45.6bn, above the downgraded number of $44bn that prompted the sell-off seen at the end of January, but the company did nudge down its guidance outlook for the remainder of the year.

Facebook shares also rose sharply after the company reported a rise in sales of 72% for the first three months of 2014, as mobile advertising continued to pay dividends, assuaging concerns that the company wouldn't be able to generate significant revenues.

The only question remains as to whether this type of growth, good as it is, merits a forward valuation of 50.

As a result of this post US pop we can expect to see a positive open for European markets this morning despite yesterday's negative finish, though we could find that it will take more than a couple of good tech reports to hang onto those gains.

Today's economic reports could go some way to aiding in that regard with the latest German IFO business survey for April bringing slightly weaker expectations, despite yesterday's positive April PMI reports from the services and manufacturing sectors.

Given the strength of those April flash reports we could well get a positive surprise here.

Given the uncertainty in Ukraine and the slowdown in China it would not be a surprise to see German business become a little more cautious with a slightly weaker reading of 110.5 expected, down from 110.7 previously.

UK Retail Sales Expected to Improve

In the UK, the economy appears to be going from strength to strength with the Bank of England upgrading its growth forecast for Q1 to 1%, while CBI manufacturing confidence rose to a 40 year high.

Later today we get to see how the latest CBI retail sales numbers for April are holding up, with the sales numbers expected to rise from 13 in March, to 17.

These numbers have on occasion in the past correlated to the official retail sales numbers which are due out tomorrow for March.

The CBI numbers for March were quite weak relative to February and there is a concern that a poor ONS number tomorrow could well signal that a Q1 growth number of anywhere near 1% may be slightly optimistic.

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

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

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 closed up 8.1pts (0.12%) at 6,688.3
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 40pts (0.24%) at 16,564
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 6.2pts (0.33%) at 1,886.0
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 12.5pts (0.35%) at 3,605.7
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 63pts (0.44%) at 14,531
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 closed down -4.6pts (-0.05%) at 9,600.0
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 closed down -13.9pts (-0.31%) at 4,469.8
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 closed down -196pts (-0.89%) at 21,721
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 closed down -6pts (-0.06%) at 10,433
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed down -17pts (-0.53%) at 3,182
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 0.4pts (0.10%) at 398.7
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed down -19.0pts (-0.22%) at 8,452.0

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
23-Apr-14 [4:20pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is five points lower, as markets await earnings from the tech giants of Apple and Facebook.

Today's price action will have prompted the drinking of vast amounts of coffee, as traders attempt to stay awake watching a London market that has traded in a range of just over 30 points throughout the day.

Yesterday the FTSE 100 showed a distinct aversion to 6700 and today it has decided that 6680 is too much as well, with ex-dividend stocks like L&G, Rolls Royce and Centrica taking a bite out of the index.

Fortunately, there has been more than enough corporate activity to offset the somnolent session for the indices.

ARM served up a nice appetiser to Apple's figures this evening, posting a 10% rise in its pre-tax profits.

However, the reaction among traders was a negative one, because of slower growth in the smartphone market.

Apple's results tonight will arguably be the bigger driver here, particularly if there are real signs that iPhone penetration in China is beginning to gain traction.

After six days of gains US markets have struggled to find their footing, registering small losses in the opening part of the session.

P&G and Norfolk Southern failed to live up to estimates, but these are mere preludes to the tech giants reporting this evening.

New home sales fell short in March, although the February figure was revised higher, while the US manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index registered only the smallest of gains for April.

We are still within striking distance of 16,600 for the Dow Jones, and positive readings from Apple and Facebook would be just the ticket to put us back on track for fresh all-time highs.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
23-Apr-14 [3:52pm] European Stock Markets

Markets in Europe traded with a negative bias today as yesterday's pharma deals run into trouble and data suggested China's manufacturing sector is still in contraction.

ARM Holdings, the UK chip-maker weighed on confidence in Europe's tech sector despite revenues rising 16%.

Lower growth in royalties was blamed on the slower demand for high-end mobile devices, which doesn't bode well for Apple results going forward.

Europe's PMI data was mixed today with services and manufacturing improving in Germany after the recent slump whereas France's surprise improvement last month proved short-lived.

Despite the situation in Russia still look contentious there have not been any trade disruptions to date which seems to have given some confidence back to businesses in Germany.

The drop-off in France may not be all that disappointing in the context of a large jump higher last month and the data still points to expansion while above 50.

Associated British Foods, was a top gainer today after solid earnings gains in its Primark stores and announcing plans to open its first store in the US.

US Stock Markets

With the S&P 500 and Dow Jones both approaching the top of recent ranges after a sixth day of gains it's not surprising to see a pullback today as investors start to show concern over future earnings guidance.

Earnings mostly beat forecasts today, leading American stocks Proctor & Gamble, Dow Chemical, Boeing and Delta Airlines all managed to beat earnings per share expectations by a few cents.

It's probably fair to say though that had analyst expectations not been revised down because of lowered corporate forecasts in the prior quarter as well as because of poor US weather, these results would all be misses.

The trigger markets are looking for is higher revisions for the rest of the year but anything from lower Chinese growth to currency fluctuations are being given as reasons for this not happening.

There may be an element of treading water today as US markets await all-important results from Apple and Facebook.

The NASDAQ is lagging other leading US indices after the weakness in the internet-tech and biotech sectors.

There are signs of a tech-turnaround though and the NASDAQ gained ground yesterday. News after the bell today will be an important turning point for the NASDAQ and the wider markets.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Apr-14 [1:25pm]

Improving German Confidence May Boost the DAX



In this trading video, Jasper Lawler discusses the fact that some strong German economic data and a rising trendline points to potential upside on the DAX.



Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Apr-14 [10:48am] US markets look set to open higher today as the mega-merger pharmaceutical take-over targets Allergan and AstraZeneca fight back and Chinese manufacturing data improves while remaining weak.

Today we see another round of US company earnings releases including those from Apple, Facebook, Biogen, Boeing and Delta Airlines.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open half a point higher at 1,879, with the Dow Jones expected to open 15 points higher at 16,530.

AstraZeneca have so far rejected offers from Pfizer and Allergen used the 'poison pill' tactic to give some shareholders extra voting rights in the event any holder exceeds 10%, which is just shy of Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management stake size.

Enthusiasm for big pharma deals may soon start to wane if the two main deals from Pfizer and Valeant / Bill Ackman don't come off.

NASDAQ Lags Ahead of Biogen Earnings

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones are both approaching the top of recent ranges after a sixth day of gains.

The NASDAQ is lagging other leading US indices after the weakness in the internet-tech and biotech sectors.

There are however signs of a tech-turnaround though and the NASDAQ gained ground yesterday.

Today will be an important turning point for the NASDAQ as we see earnings from tech bellwethers Facebook and Apple as well as top biotech company Biogen.

If yesterday's excellent results from sector pier Amgen are anything to go by, Biogen should do well.

Biogen is expected to deliver earnings of $2.57 per share on revenue of $2.0bn.

It has delivered positive earnings surprises in the last four quarters and has a solid product line especially in its multiple sclerosis business.

Apple and Facebook Reports

Apple is expected to show first quarter earnings at $10.18 per share on revenue of $43.53bn.

These results would be essentially flat compared to the year prior which is unsurprising given the company's loss of market share to Samsung as well no substantial improvements to its product line.

Facebook is expected to have earned twice that of the quarter a year earlier at $0.24 per share on revenue over 60% higher of $2.36bn in Q1.

The company appears to have turned around its mobile advertising business which troubled investors during its IPO.

However risks are to the downside, with a slew of pricey acquisitions and lower advertising rates as noted by Google following their earnings miss this week.

Boeing is expected to report its Q1 earnings at $1.56 per share on revenue of $20.19bn.

Delta Airlines is expected to report its Q1 earnings at $0.29 per share on revenue of $8.92bn.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Apr-14 [10:26am] In mid-morning trade the FTSE 100 is all but unchanged, hovering around 6682, as England basks in the traditional frenzy of St George's Day celebrations.

The news from Associated British Foods will put new life into speculation that its Primark clothing division will be spun out.

ABF reported a 10% rise in earnings per share, with Primark cushioning the blow from sluggish trading in its sugar business.

As a result, Primark becomes the latest in a long line of British firms hoping to make it big in the US.

One can only hope that its efforts are more successful than those of Tesco.

ABF shareholders will be cheering a rise in the dividend as well, while a comparison with the FTSE 100 shows that while the latter has gained just 4.4% over the past twelve months, ABF has risen by almost 50%.

Momentum continues to lift AstraZeneca, as the stock continues to hover near all-time highs.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England minutes revealed no change in the broad picture on the Monetary Policy Committee.

Aside from trite observations about 'considerable momentum' in UK house prices, the committee noted the growing momentum in the economy, but we're none the wiser on if and when the first rate hike will arrive.

Apple and Facebook dominate the agenda today, with China Mobile related news from the former possibly the most important element of the results.

If Apple can cement its dominance in China then its position at the top of the pile remains assured.

For Facebook, the arrival of mobile ads has long been expected, and it is widely believed that the future of the company rests on the success or failure of this venture.

Ahead of the US open, we expect the Dow Jones to start 12 points higher at 16,526.

Update by Brenda Kelly, Senior Market Strategist, IG Index
23-Apr-14 [10:15am] For the latest technical analysis on the S+P 500, including a look at Apple, see the new trading video on our blog:

S+P 500 Sees Short Squeeze but Sentiment Bias Remains Negative

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial

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 FinancialSpreads.com 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 FinancialSpreads.com.
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 - 15 Apr 2014


Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 15 Apr 2014 8 Apr 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1:1 -775 -1,881 1,106 107,199 -9,414
S&P 500 Index 2.4:1 7,792 12,135 -4,343 126,353 2,088
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2:1 6,866 8,308 -1,442 70,106 -4,255
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 5.6:1 24,089 24,810 -721 99,297 -296


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 24-Apr-14

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