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
17-Apr-14 [3:55pm] Europe Stock Markets

Stocks in Europe traded with a generally positive bias today as investors weren't inclined to aggressively change positions before their Easter holidays.

Some menacing comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia had the right to place its army in foreign countries and that eastern Ukraine was historically part of Russia failed to move markets lower as the US, European, Ukrainian and Russian politicians met today in Geneva to discuss the crisis.

It was earnings from US tech behemoths Google and IBM that have set the tone in Europe followed through by earnings from Morgan Stanley, General Electric and PepsiCo.

The prospect of a culling of jobs at Barclays helped the company's stock to one of the biggest rises in UK markets today.

There has been a growing backlash against outsized bonus payments amid a mediocre year's performance.

With a mind to cutting costs, executives appear to have made the rational decision to keep their own bonuses while laying off other members of the workforce.

US Stock Markets

Earnings season was in full tilt today with two days' worth of earnings fitted into one because of Good Friday.

Earnings from Google after yesterday's close failed to live up to expectations.

Shares fell as much as 6% as the company cited rising costs and lower internet advertisement pricing.

There's not cause to lose faith in the company just yet as revenues are still up 19% on the year but the company maybe overstretching a bit with some of the recent acquisitions moving into areas as far afield as drone-making.

IBM added to concerns in the tech sector as first quarter earnings missed estimates.

While clearly going nowhere anytime soon, IBM does seem to be caught in last decade's technology with businesses increasingly using cloud services instead of in-house servers.

There are continuing signs of improvement in the US labour market as 304k Americans made unemployment claims last week, the lowest since 2007.

This could be paving the way to a Non-Farm Payroll number above 200k for April.

The Philly Fed Manufacturing index almost doubled estimated coming in at 16.6 as business confidence in the US swoons after the cold weather spell apparently kept activity subdued during winter and matching the confidence seen from consumers in the last few months.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
17-Apr-14 [2:52pm] European markets remain positive, on track for a positively close ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

Wall Street futures opened slightly negative as investors weighed results from Google and Morgan Stanley.

US unemployment claims showed that fewer Americans filed for unemployment claims, with 304,000 claiming beating the 316,000 estimate.

Emerging stocks traded higher for a second day as investors weighed prospects for economic stimulus in China.

Diplomatic talks took place in Geneva, aimed at defusing the Ukraine crisis which has helped sentiment today.

Brent crude traded near a six-week high amid concern that the escalating crisis in Ukraine could hurt supplies.

Update by Lee Mumford, Trader, Spreadex
17-Apr-14 [10:37am] US markets look set to open lower today as earnings from Google after yesterday's close failed to live up to expectations.

This may be enough to undo comments from Fed Chair Janet Yellen expecting low US inflation and a positive growth outlook from the Fed's Beige book.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open 8 points lower at 1,854 with the Dow Jones expected to open 72 points lower at 16,352.

Google's shares fell as much as 6% as the company cited rising costs and lower internet advertisement pricing.

There's not cause to lose faith in the company just yet as revenues are still up 19% on the year but the company maybe overstretching a bit with some of the recent acquisitions moving into areas as far afield as drone-making.

With stock markets stuck in a volatile range, up for two or three days then down for two or three days, the poor results from Google might be the catalyst to end the 3 days of gains seen this week.

Barring any escalations in Ukraine, earnings will be the name of the game again today with announcements coming from Morgan Stanley, General Electric and PepsiCo all having the potential to reverse or extenuate gains made yesterday.

Morgan Stanley earnings are expected to come out at $0.60 per share on revenue of $8.52bn.

GE is expected to earn $0.32 per share on revenue of $34.36bn.

PepsiCo is projected to report first quarter EPS of $0.75 on revenue of $12.40bn.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
17-Apr-14 [10:32am] Quiet trading precedes a four-day weekend for London traders, and the FTSE has edged lower by ten points to 6573.

There are no Easter egg fun and games for Tesco, as it continues its post-earnings slide, offloading another 2.5% in shareholder value this morning.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke continues to read about the battle he faces in the morning's papers.

Unexpected weakness in Asian markets has knocked today's big-name earnings reporter, drinks aficionado Diageo (-3.7%).

Finishing off with some good news, watch out for further rebounds in some of the recent profit-taking-related laggards, with ITV (+2.7%) standing out here as it leads the market today.

RSA (+2.6%) is also higher, closing the gap its share price opened since its late-March rights issue.

Not without its health warnings, trading this stock has certainly been popular recently.

US markets had another strong day yesterday, with gains of 1% for the Dow Jones and S&P 500, and a touch better for the NASDAQ.

Today's early talking point will be what happened post these gains being banked, as Google's after-hours earnings release disappointed.

The first release after its stock split, the numbers came in short on both the top and bottom lines.

The C shares traded down as much 5% before recovering slightly to make the post-market close around 3% lower.

This miss overshadowed the in-line EPS number for IBM and a slight beat for AMEX.

Earnings season has not decided on its true course yet, and while the markets get pushed around by other macro factors, traders will find it easy to switch off their screens early and go reaching for the chocolate.

Currently, US markets are looking likely to give away some of yesterday's recovery as the futures digest the lacklustre earnings.

The Dow is called to open down 65 points at 16,360.

Update by Will Hedden, Sales Trader, IG Index
17-Apr-14 [8:41am]

NASDAQ in Focus Again

The NASDAQ is set to come under further pressure after poor results from IBM and Google.

Janet Yellen has also taken a more dovish stance by suggesting that interest rates will remain at ultra-low levels for an indefinate period.

Update by Ishaq Siddiqi, Market Analyst, ETX Capital
17-Apr-14 [8:06am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading down -14.8pts (-0.22%) at 6,579.5
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones is trading down -19pts (-0.11%) at 16,365
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 is trading down -3.0pts (-0.16%) at 1,856.0
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -11.1pts (-0.32%) at 3,503.8
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading down -70pts (-0.48%) at 14,374
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading down -20.2pts (-0.22%) at 9,307.3
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading down -1.5pts (-0.03%) at 4,410.8
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 is trading down -5pts (-0.02%) at 21,477
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 is trading down -17pts (-0.17%) at 10,256
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading down -13pts (-0.41%) at 3,136
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 is trading down -0.8pts (-0.20%) at 395.7
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading down -25.5pts (-0.31%) at 8,318.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
17-Apr-14 [7:36am] US indices closed into positive territory on Wednesday boosted by shares in Commercial & Professional Services, Media and Software & Services sectors.

US industrial production rose 0.7% MoM (+0.5% expected) in March after an upwardly revised 1.2% increase the prior month.

The S&P 500 (1862.31) jumped above its 20 DMA (1858.86 - negative slope) and its 50 DMA (1848.89 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a positive note.

Update by InterTrader
17-Apr-14 [7:35am] Asian markets slightly gained throughout the night off the back off Janet Yellen's comments earlier in the evening which followed on from the gains that were seen on Wall Street, clawing back its losses for the past three consecutive sessions.

Google reported disappointing Q1 earnings after the closing bell last night as a 29% increase in costs left the internet giant missing revenue estimations.

US stocks gained 1% during its session yesterday as Janet Yellen spoke out regarding keeping interest rates low, even potentially beyond its bond-purchasing programme.

The short week has seen global stocks recover slightly from last week's dramatic sell off as a week of slightly upbeat economic data lifted sentiment.

Investors will be awaiting today's US unemployment claims and Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, both released at 1:30pm and 3:00pm (London time) respectively.

Update by Sam Fox, Trader, Spreadex
17-Apr-14 [6:16am] We saw another third positive session in a row from US markets yesterday, buoyed up by a combination of better than expected industrial production data for February and March.

There was also a reiteration from Fed Chair Janet Yellen of the central bank's commitment to maintain an accommodative low rate policy and an upbeat Beige Book report from the Fed regions.

It was Janet Yellen's comments about the weak outlook for inflation that appear to have helped underpin stocks the most, and raised the prospect of lower rates well beyond the end of the actual tapering program.

Given these comments, it really begs the question as to why FOMC members even bother with their dot chart analysis of rate rise projections, given it would seem that they seem to be about as much guide to the Fed's actual rate intentions and pledges, as a chocolate fireguard.

This inconsistency between projections and policy statements was alluded to by the Atlanta Fed's Dennis Lockhart yesterday, though in slightly more nuanced terms than the ones I just used, but it goes to the absolute shambles the Fed's current communications policy has become.

There were also some encouraging signs from the Beige Book which saw a pick-up in consumer spending, which had shown some weakness in the last report due to the cold weather, while broader economic activity also showed a broad improvement as well.

Markets Keep One Eye on Geneva

With the economic calendar in Europe fairly light today and no further negative surprises from the Ukraine the expectation is for markets to finish the week on a positive note, with a slightly lower to flat open this morning.

With that in mind markets are likely to have a wary eye on today's talks in Geneva between officials of the EU, US, Ukraine and Russia in an attempt to ratchet down the tensions that have slowly grown over the past few days.

The main focus is set to be on the latest US weekly jobless claims as well as the latest Philadelphia Fed survey for April.

Weekly claims are expected to increase from the seven year lows we saw last week of 300k to something around 315k.

As for the Philadelphia Fed business activity survey for April we can expect to see an improvement from March's reading of 9 to 10, though there is always the potential for a negative surprise, particularly after this week's disappointing Empire manufacturing number which slid sharply to 1.3 from 5.6.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
17-Apr-14 [6:05am] European equities are set to open flat on caution and mixed cues.

Overnight, US markets closed higher as markets took Janet Yellen's dis-inflation worries as a dovish signal, but poor results from Google after the close has undone the positive handover.

The talks in Geneva between the West and Russia are also keeping traders in a cautious mindset.

No one is quite clear what is happening on the ground in the Ukraine, following numerous reports of gun battles, mass defections, building occupations, and tank thefts.

As a result, financial spread betting investors will not want to put on large positions going into a long weekend when the expectations for the talks are so low.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw its third day of gains on Wednesday despite mixed economic data from the US and positive Chinese economic growth data.

The Dow climbed 162 points during the course of the day, ending the day up almost 1%.

Investors welcomed solid company earnings and a speech given by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen who said she expects the economy to reach maximum employment and meet inflation targets by the end of 2016.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
17-Apr-14 [4:06am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 closed up 23.0pts (0.35%) at 6,594.3
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 74pts (0.45%) at 16,384
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 9.0pts (0.49%) at 1,859.0
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 7.8pts (0.22%) at 3,514.9
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 281pts (1.98%) at 14,444
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 100.9pts (1.09%) at 9,327.5
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 28.5pts (0.65%) at 4,412.3
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 closed up 655pts (3.14%) at 21,482
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 177pts (1.75%) at 10,273
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 39pts (1.25%) at 3,149
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 1.9pts (0.48%) at 396.5
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 31.0pts (0.37%) at 8,343.5

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
16-Apr-14 [4:26pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 seems content to have added 30 points for the day as it receives further support from markets across the Atlantic.

Miners and retailers have dominated the action in London as economic figures from China and a reasonably strong performance from Tesco and Burberry lifted the market.

Although the GDP figure was below the previous quarter's, and industrial production was still weak, the raw materials sector was comforted by the thought that the downward momentum in Chinese figures has come to an end.

Meanwhile, Tesco saw profits drop yet again but investors have opted to take the positive view for today at least, concentrating on the firm's overarching predominance in size and reach versus its rivals

Income hunters will be grateful that the dividend was left untouched.

Burberry saw its shares rise 2.7% after demand in China and Korea revived, nudging second-half revenues in the direction of £1 billion.

However, the firm warned that a stronger pound could take its toll in the future.

A warning that may become more and more common among exporters if sterling continues to gain ground against the US dollar.

US markets have started the session in better form than they did yesterday, when gains rapidly evaporated after an initial bounce.

Housing starts and building permits were both weaker in March, while Bank of America did its best to undo the positive feeling created by Intel and Yahoo last night.

The bank reported a first-quarter loss of $276 million.

Thus far in bank earnings we are 2-1 in favour of poor figures, so the onus will be on Morgan Stanley to liven up the situation.

After two days of gains we can expect to see some directionless trading, and it will be up to Google and IBM to keep up the positive earnings trend in non-financials.

Sentiment in the tech sector will have a further test tomorrow when Weibo lists.

While the 'Chinese Twitter' has opted for a more sober valuation than its US cousin, it still needs to post a profit at some point in the future.

Update by Brenda Kelly, Senior Market Strategist, IG Index
16-Apr-14 [4:07pm] UK Stock Markets

There was likely a slight holiday affect today as investors scale out of their more aggressive positions, perhaps including covering short positions in growth stocks before Good Friday.

Weak credit and money supply data from China yesterday had investors expecting the worst for today's Chinese economic numbers.

In the end the market impact in Europe was minimal, with GDP and retail sales beating expectations while industrial production missed.

Markets have one eye on the situation in Ukraine which appears to be rapidly deteriorating with relations between Russia and the US increasingly fraught with Europe unwillingly stuck in the middle.

Today there has been no notable escalation from yesterday's military operations.

UK unemployment declined more than expected, dropping below the Bank of England's 7% threshold at 6.9%, while the cost of living crisis is put on hold as average earnings are now increasing at a greater rate than consumer price inflation.

European CPI data remained flat at 0.5% annually but picked up in the last month with an increase of 0.9% against last month's 0.3% indicating the second quarter may see a pickup and delay the need for the ECB to act to curb potential deflation.

Tesco shares moved higher today with the company's first decline in profits in 20 years not as bad as expected.

Burberry reported a 19% growth in revenue for the quarter with strong sales in China.

The company did again warn about currency risks for future earnings but currencies nor the difficult consumer environment in China appear to have made much of a dent on earnings so far.

Persimmon gained as the house builder reported sales increased by 38% in the last year.

It has been a good time to be building houses, with rapidly rising sales and houses prices rising on average 9.1% across the UK.

US Stock Markets

Industrial production in March improved more than expected with a revision to February doubling the previously reported figure.

Manufacturers and Producers have clearly responded to the pent up demand from consumers after the cold weather spell this winter.

Housing starts improved at a slower rate than forecast in the US with building permits declining.

Later in the session Janet Yellen talks ahead of the release of the Fed's beige book.

Bank of America beat first quarter earnings estimates with earnings per share of $0.35 and revenue of $22.8 billion.

There was a net revenue loss of $276 million and the bank took a hit from a $6 billion litigation expense affecting earnings by -$0.40 per share.

Intel briefly pushed back above $27 which has been the high for 2014 by narrowly beating earnings estimates with $0.38 per share on revenues of $12.8bn.

The decline in demand for PCs steadied in the last few quarters and the company grew its data center business while still trying to push into the tablet space.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
16-Apr-14 [1:41pm] European equities continue to hold ground after rebounding from yesterday's sell-off.

The DAX, after getting slammed by investors, has recovered much of what was lost.

The FTSE 100, too, has rebounded following a session plied with nerves and anxiety.

Another gauge of fear, the dollar, is also weakening in light of companies delivering on earnings and no more horror stories from the Ukraine.

But investors are remaining cautious.

When volatility jumps like it has done over the past few weeks, the market starts asking questions that haven't been asked for a while: How far could markets contract if risk-off prevails, or are valuations really supportive at these levels?

And even just the thought of those questions has some taking capital out.

But then that sort of sentiment might be just what the bulls needed to reload.

Update by David White, Trader, Spreadex
16-Apr-14 [10:50am] US markets look set to open higher today unperturbed by military action in eastern Ukraine and slightly weaker Chinese GDP growth.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open 12 points higher at 1,855 with the Dow Jones expected to open 89 points higher/lower at 16,351.

All major US indices had reached critical price levels with the Dow touching 16,000 and 3,420 having capped losses twice since November for the NASDAQ.

It's at these kind of levels that tests the resilience of bulls and bears, the bulls won out yesterday boosted by positive earnings from Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson.

Yahoo! shares shot higher in after hours trading as net income for Alibaba more than doubled to $1.35bn in the fourth quarter.

With Alibaba's IPO expected soon this has boosted valuations for the company from averaging $150bn to more like $200bn.

In a sign of the times, there now appears to be a good chance that the largest IPO in American history will be from a Chinese company.

Google Search for Good Results

As superstar of the US internet technology industry and fresh on the back of having acquired drone-maker Titan Aerospace, all eyes will be on results from Google.

The internet search behemoth is expected to show earnings of $6.40 per share on revenue of $15.52bn.

Expectations are high for continued good results so any deviation would definitely not bode well for the already weakened tech sector.

Bank of America report first quarter earnings today expected to show $0.05 earnings per share on revenue of $22.33bn.

American Express is expected to show an EPS of $1.30 with revenue of $8.36bn.

US Bancorp is estimated to report $0.73 per share on revenue of $4.8bn.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets

Readers please note:

Trading Risk Warning

For the stock market commentary archives see Stock Market Trading Archive.

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market Indices

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market Indices?

At the moment, investors can speculate on stock market indices with:

Live Stock Market Spread Betting Prices and Charts

We do give readers some fairly accurate spread betting prices for the daily index markets, please see index spread betting prices above.

The live CFD chart and prices below will offer readers a useful look at the FTSE 100 (UK 100) stock market index.

You can use the search option on the chart to select other indices like the Dow Jones (USA 30), S&P 500 (USA 500), DAX 30 (Germany 30), etc.

The above chart, provided by Plus 500, usually follows the FTSE 100 futures market (not the spot market).

If you want to study live spread betting prices and charts for the stock market, then naturally, one option is to use a spread betting account.

A spreads account would also give you access to daily markets. Users should note that accounts are subject to credit, suitability and status checks.

If you apply, and your application is approved, you can log on and use the live charts and prices. These are usually provided for free.

Of course, if you decide to trade then, before you start, you should be aware that spread trading and contracts for difference involve a significant level of risk to your capital and it is possible to incur losses that exceed your initial investment.

Advanced Stock Market Charts

Although charting software and packages can differ across the various firms, in order to assist you with your trading, the majority of charts usually have features such as:
  • A variety of time intervals - 1 minute, 2 minute, 10 minute, 1 hour, 2 hour, 1 day, etc
  • Indicators - Moving Average, MACD, Momentum, RSI, TSI etc
  • Various display styles - bar charts and candlestick charts
  • Tools for drawing features - Fibonacci retracements and trendlines
The charts provided by also come with other benefits such as:
  • Custom email alerts when a market reaches a certain level
  • Back Testing and Analysis tools

Typical index spread betting chart

Stock Market Trading Guide - Example Chart

The financial spread betting brokers in the following list offer users real-time trading prices and charts:

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market for Free?

Investing in the stock market always has its risks, but if you want a free Practice Account, which lets you try spread betting, see below for more details.

Also, don't forget that in the UK, spread betting is exempt from capital gains tax, income tax and stamp duty*.

If you're trying to find a low cost stock market/spread betting platform, keep in mind that you can speculate on the indices without having to pay any commissions or brokers’ fees via companies like:

Free Demo Account

If you are interested in a free Demo Account where you can practice index spread betting, then take a look at: The above companies provide a Test Account that lets investors try out new trading ideas, review professional charts and practice with an array of trading orders.

Stock Market Trades: Daily vs Futures Markets

Many investors prefer daily markets to futures markets. In the trading examples below we cover both daily and futures.

A 'Rolling Daily' market is unlike a futures market in that there is no closing date.

If you decide to leave your trade open at the end of the day, it simply rolls over to the next trading day.

If a trade is rolled over and you are spread betting on the market to:

  Index Spread Betting Example Go up - then you are charged a small overnight financing fee, or
  Index Spread Betting Example Go down - then you will usually receive a small credit to your account

For a more detailed example see Rolling Daily Spread Betting.

Futures Markets

A ‘futures’ market will normally have a wider spread than a ‘daily’ market. However, you do not normally have ‘daily rolling’ costs with a futures market.

Having said that, if you are trading a quarterly futures market, i.e. a market that closes at the end of the quarter, and you want to keep it open past the expiry date then you will often incur a small cost at the end of the quarter.

Importantly, if you plan on doing this, you need to tell your spread betting company in advance, i.e. before the contract expires.

How to Spread Bet on Stock Market

How to Spread Bet on a Stock Market Index?

An index is a statistical indicator that represents the total value of the stocks that constitute it eg the FTSE and Dow Jones are both indices. It often serves as a barometer for a given market or industry and acts as a benchmark from which financial or economic performance is measured.

As with many global markets, you can spread bet on a stock market index to rise or fall.

FTSE 100 Index - Rolling Daily Example

If we go onto Financial Spreads, we can see that they are pricing the FTSE 100 Rolling Daily market at 5819.7 - 5820.7. This means you can spread bet on the FTSE 100 index:

  Index Spread Betting Example Moving higher than 5820.7, or
  Index Spread Betting Example Moving lower than 5819.7

Whilst placing a spread bet on the FTSE 100 index you trade in £x per point. Therefore, if you choose to have a stake of £3 per point and the FTSE 100 moves 32 points then that would be a difference to your P&L of £96. £3 per point x 32 points = £96.

So, let’s assume:
  • You have done your analysis, and
  • Your analysis suggests the FTSE 100 index will move higher than 5820.7
If so, you might want to buy a spread bet at 5820.7 for a stake of, let’s say, £4 per point.

With this trade you make a profit of £4 for every point that the FTSE 100 index moves above 5820.7. Conversely, however, you will lose £4 for every point that the FTSE 100 market drop below the 5820.7 level.

Or, in other words, if you were to buy a spread bet then your profit/loss is worked out by taking the difference between the closing price of the market and the price you bought the market at. You then multiply that difference in price by your stake.

If, after a few hours, the UK stock market rose then you might consider closing your position in order to lock in your profit.

If the FTSE rose then the spread, set by the spread trading firm, might move up to 5849.3 - 5850.3. In order to close your spread bet you would sell at 5849.3. So if you sell with the same £4 stake your profit would be calculated as:

Profit / loss = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
Profit / loss = (5849.3 - 5820.7) x £4 per point stake
Profit / loss = 28.6 x £4 per point stake
Profit / loss = £114.40 profit

Speculating on stock market indices won't always go to plan. In this case, you wanted the UK index to rise. Of course, stock markets can fall.

If the FTSE 100 market began to fall then you could close your trade in order to limit your losses.

If the UK stock market dropped to 5785.8 - 5786.8 you would close your trade by selling at 5785.8. So your loss would be calculated as:

Profit / loss = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
Profit / loss = (5785.8 - 5820.7) x £4 per point stake
Profit / loss = -34.9 x £4 per point stake
Profit / loss = -£139.60 loss

Note: FTSE 100 Rolling Daily market quoted as of 28-Nov-12.

How to Spread Bet on Indices - Selling FTSE 100 Futures Market

Let's say a firm is offering a FTSE 100 Futures price of 6202 - 6206, i.e. you can 'buy' at 6206 or 'sell' at 6202.
  • You think the FTSE is going to go down, so you 'Sell'.
  • You decide to risk £10 per point
  • The market rises in the afternoon. You decide to cut your losses by closing your bet at the latest current Daily FTSE price
  • The new quote is 6210 - 6212
  • To close a 'sell' bet you simply 'buy' at the top end of the spread for the same stake
  • You buy £10/point at 6212
  • Closing price = 6212
  • Profit / Loss = (Opening price - Closing price) x stake
  • Opening price = 6202
  • Profit / Loss = (6202 - 6212) x £10 per point
  • -10 point Loss x £10 per point
  • Loss = -£100

How to Spread Bet on a Stock Market - Selling US Futures (Wall Street)

Let's say Wall Street, i.e. the Dow Jones, has been gaining steadily but you feel the current level of 12215 is a medium term high. Therefore you could have a look at Wall Street Mar (March) and see the quote is 12331 - 12345.

Therefore you decide to SELL (go short) at 12331 for a stake of £5 per point.

You have Sold but the even if the price does increase you will still make a profit as long as it doesn't go above 12331 from the current level of 12215.

Let's say you're not quite right and the market continues to go up but only a fraction and in March it settles at 12290.

Your profit is calculated by calculating the difference between the closing level (12290) and the opening price (12331) and multiplying that by your stake.

Profit on day = (12331 - 12290) x £5 per point stake
Profit on day = 41 points x £5 per point = £205 profit

However had Wall Street continued to increase at a greater rate and closed at 12360, you would have lost.

Loss = (12331 - 12360) x £5 per point stake
Loss = -29 points x £5 per point = -£145 loss

Note: Wall Street market as of Jun 2012.

Advert: Stock Market Spread Betting, sponsored by
You can spread bet on the Stock Market with Financial Spreads.

Individual Stock Market Guides

Below we have listed guides to the worlds’ major stock markets.

The guides for the more popular stock market indices have real-time prices and charts as well as regular market updates and analysis.

All of the guides below have worked trading examples and answer popular questions such as:
  • Where can I spread bet?
  • Where can I get live prices / charts?
  • Where can I trade commission free?
  • Where can I practice trading?
  • Etc.

Each spread betting company offers their own specific markets. However, nearly all large spread betting firms offer markets on these popular indices:

European Stock Markets American Stock Markets Rest of the World Stock Markets
FTSE 100 | Prices | Chart | Analysis Dow Jones | Prices | Chart | Analysis Nikkei 225 | Prices | Chart | Analysis
DAX 30 | Prices | Chart | Analysis S&P 500 | Prices | Chart | Analysis Hang Seng | Prices | Chart | Analysis
CAC 40 | Prices | Chart | Analysis Nasdaq 100 | Prices | Chart | Analysis

The majority of firms will also offer futures and/or daily markets on the following:

European Stock Markets American Stock Markets Rest of the World Stock Markets
AEX Index Spread Betting Russ 2K Spread Betting Brazil Index Spread Betting
Euro Stoxx 50 Spread Betting China Enterprise Spread Betting
FTSE 250 Spread Betting Indian Nifty 50 Spread Betting
Irish Stock Market Spread Betting
Italy 40 Spread Betting
MDAX Spread Betting
Spain 35 Spread Betting
Swiss SMI Spread Betting

Only a handful of firms offer the following markets. Whilst all spread betting is a high risk form of trading, users may want to take extra care when trading the following, these index markets are:
  • Less popular and therefore the ‘spreads’ tend to be wider i.e. the underlying market has to move further before you can close your trade for a profit.
  • More volatile and more likely to ‘gap’ or ‘slip’ than a liquid index like the FTSE 100 or Dow.

European Stock Markets American Stock Markets Rest of the World Stock Markets
Austria 20 Spread Betting - Canada 60 Spread Betting
Belgium 20 Spread Betting China A50 Spread Betting
Denmark 20 Spread Betting Korea 200 Spread Betting
Greece 20 Spread Betting Mexico 35 Spread Betting
Hungary 12 Spread Betting Singapore Blue Chip Spread Betting
Norway 25 Spread Betting South Africa 40 Spread Betting
Poland 20 Spread Betting Taiwan 50 Index Spread Betting
Sweden 30 Spread Betting
Turkey 30 Spread Betting
UK Techmark Spread Betting

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Commitments of Traders Stock Market Reports

When studying the CFTC COT reports, investors will often concentrate on the Non-Commercial commitments and the Change in Open Interest. Therefore, every week, we publish the latest data in the following ‘Summary Non-Commercial and Open Interest COT Report’.

For the full COT report for a particular stock market index, and to see how traders are altering their positions, just click on the relevant link in the summary table below.

Also see our Commitments of Traders guide.

Summary Indices Non-Commercial and Open Interest COT Report - 8 Apr 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 8 Apr 2014 1 Apr 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1:1.1 -1,881 10,189 -12,070 116,613 -11,486
S&P 500 Index 5.4:1 12,135 8,985 3,150 124,265 3,006
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2:1 8,307 14,812 -6,505 74,360 1,027
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 7.7:1 24,810 27,246 -2,436 99,593 1,007

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-Apr-14

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