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
20-Apr-15 [2:01pm] New Stock Market COT Reports

The latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) has been published by the CFTC and so we have produced a new Stock Market COT Summary Report.

We have also updated our individual COT reports for the futures markets listed below. These are easier-to-read than the CFTC version. They also have additional long/short ratios data and give the weekly net positions changes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
17-Apr-15 [11:31am] New Stock Market COT Reports

The latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) has been published by the CFTC and so we have produced a new Stock Market COT Summary Report.

We have also updated our individual COT reports for the futures markets listed below. These are easier-to-read than the CFTC version. They also have additional long/short ratios data and give the weekly net positions changes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
07-Apr-15 [11:31am] New Stock Market COT Reports

The latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) has been published by the CFTC and so we have produced a new Stock Market COT Summary Report.

We have also updated our individual COT reports for the futures markets listed below. These are easier-to-read than the CFTC version. They also have additional long/short ratios data and give the weekly net positions changes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
30-Mar-15 [10:32am] New Stock Market COT Reports

The latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) has been published by the CFTC and so we have produced a new Stock Market COT Summary Report.

We have also updated our individual COT reports for the futures markets listed below. These are easier-to-read than the CFTC version. They also have additional long/short ratios data and give the weekly net positions changes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
23-Mar-15 [8:39am] New Stock Market COT Reports

The latest Commitments of Traders Report (COT) has been published by the CFTC and so we have produced a new Stock Market COT Summary Report.

We have also updated our individual COT reports for the futures markets listed below. These are easier-to-read than the CFTC version. They also have additional long/short ratios data and give the weekly net positions changes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
19-Mar-15 [10:46am] In mid-morning trading, the FTSE 100 is in positive territory although it is quickly giving up its gains.

The London market popped higher on the back of dovish commentary from the Fed last night.

Janet Yellen removed the word 'patience' from the statement put piled on the dovish rhetoric and in doing so cast doubt over the likelihood of a rate rise in June.

This isn't the first time a central banker has given with one hand and taken with the other.

Traders are delighted to have the Fed meeting over and done with as now they can turn their attention back to the Eurozone, where the market is certain that Germany and Greece will be at each others throats.

IG is offering political markets on the UK general election in the wake of George Osborne's budget and the IG general election binary is indicating that there is a 79% chance of no overall majority.

Next did exactly what it said it would do, and posted a full-year revenue of £4 billion.

The company's catalogue business Next Directory saw annual sales growth of 12%, and this has helped the retailer register record revenue.

However, the company's cautious outlook pulled the shares back from the all-time high.

Shares in Savills have slipped from the fresh highs seen yesterday as traders cash in on the company's stellar set of figures.

Revenue at the estate agent reached record levels as the booming British property and a recovery in continental Europe ensured pre-tax profits exceeded the £100 million mark.

Across the pond we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 46 points lower, at 18,030, as today is the calm after the FOMC storm.

US index futures are trading lower but given that a June hike seems to be off the cards we should expect a fresh run at all-time highs.

This short-term pullback in the US market will provide an opportunity for the bulls to get back in the game.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
19-Mar-15 [10:22am] A lowering of growth and inflation targets by the Federal Reserve caused a meltdown in the US dollar on Wednesday sending US stocks sharply higher.

A bounce back in the US dollar overnight is expected to send US stocks lower on the open of trading on Thursday.

Showing sensitivity to the possible reaction of stock and bond markets to its statement, the Fed chose to offset the removal of forward guidance by pushing out the dots on the 'dot plot' to suggest a slower pace of rate increases once they do start.

As stocks and bonds rallied, something had to give and that something was the US dollar.

The dollar plummeted; sending currencies such as the euro and British pound and numerous commodities including oil and gold soaring.

The dollar has strengthened again overnight but an extra level of determination will be needed to push major currencies and commodities to new lows given the size of the moves seen yesterday.

US Stocks Can Start Catching Up with Europe

Should the overnight strength in the US dollar start to melt away again, stocks have the opportunity to extend gains.

With expectations now pushed out to October for a US rate hike and a possible stabilisation of the US dollar on the cards, US stocks could have room to run on the upside.

Particularly in the light of the returns that have been seen so far in Europe this year, US stocks may have some catching-up to do.

Starbucks has announced a stock split.

Target shares went against the grain on news they are following suit from Wal-Mart and raising their minimum wage to $9 per hour.

Sports apparel brand Nike reports earnings on Thursday.

Futures suggest that the S&P 500 will open 2 points lower at 2,097, with the Dow Jones expected to open 24 points lower at 18,052 and the NASDAQ 100 1 point higher at 4,423.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
19-Mar-15 [8:26am]

FTSE Hits New All-Time High as Yellen Delays Rate Hike Expectations

After the FOMC statement removed the term 'patience' but replaced it with more dovish rhetoric, stock market indices surged and the FTSE hit a fresh intraday record high of 6994.

The dovish tone saw the dollar drop back sharply before recovering, with GBP/USD hitting $1.5185 before reversing back to $1.4813.

Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development, CMC Markets
19-Mar-15 [8:22am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 26.9pts (0.39%) at 6,977.8
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 17pts (0.09%) at 18,090
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 is trading up 2.0pts (0.10%) at 2,103.3
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 7.3pts (0.16%) at 4,436.1
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 15pts (0.08%) at 19,514
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 103.7pts (0.87%) at 11,972.3
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 29.6pts (0.59%) at 5,050.8
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 185pts (0.82%) at 22,759
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 55pts (0.50%) at 11,122
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 28pts (0.77%) at 3,684
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 is trading up 3.1pts (0.62%) at 499.5
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 61.0pts (0.66%) at 9,319.5

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
19-Mar-15 [7:32am] US indices jumped on Wednesday led by shares in the Energy, Utilities and Real Estate sectors.

The FOMC indicated that an interest rate increase could occur as soon as June, with a median rate of 0.625% by the end of 2015.

The S&P 500 (2099.5) broke above its 20 DMA (2089.8 - flat slope) and its 50 DMA (2061.6 - flat slope).

European markets are expected to start on a negative note.

Update by InterTrader
19-Mar-15 [6:13am] Last night the Federal Reserve gave the market what it wanted by removing 'patience' from its guidance language.

However, it did it in a manner equivalent to a sucker punch, following it up with the equivalent of a knockout blow to all those US dollar bulls who expected them to be much more hawkish.

The hawks will argue that yesterday's move frees their hand to raise interest rates when it suits, which is true, but it doesn't bring the prospect of a rate rise any closer.

It also obscures the fact that the central bank revised down its growth outlook, and slashed its inflation forecasts for this year, to 0.6% to 0.8%, from 1% to 1.6%.

Dovish FOMC Pushes Talk of Rate Hikes Further Out

With the Fed also guiding down its expectations for potential rate rises in the coming months as well, the fact that the FOMC was so guarded caught a lot in the market unawares.

This was particularly highlighted by the line about wanting to see further improvement in the labour market, suggesting that they felt that there was probably more slack in the labour market than originally thought.

With the recent surge of the US dollar weighing on exports, a fact that the Fed acknowledged, as well as inflation, the prospect of a rate rise in June, despite being remote, has been blown out of the water.

A lot of market watchers are now expecting a move in September, but even this seems extraordinarily optimistic.

The fact is that the Federal Reserve was always going to struggle to tack into the breeze at a time when central banks around the world are cutting rates, with the Swedish Riksbank once again easing policy yesterday afternoon.

US Bonds and Stock Markets Surge

As a result US bond markets and stocks surged as the prospect of easier policy for longer came back onto the table, with the S&P 500 returning to the 2,100 level it left behind two weeks ago.

Crude oil also rebounded sharply as the dollar weakened, despite data showing that stockpiles increased again, while gold prices also rallied sharply.

The spill over effect of yesterday's US dollar sell-off and sharp euro rebound will be felt in European markets this morning, with the German DAX expected to open lower.

The FTSE 100 should open higher after receiving a significant boost from yesterday's actions by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer to alleviate the tax burden on the oil and gas sector, and the moves to help savers which helped boost asset managers and life assurance companies.

Given yesterday's caution on the labour market today's weekly jobless claims will once again take on a new resonance in the wake of the recent slowdown and reduction on rig counts, with expectations that we could see them come in at 293k, up slightly from last week's 289k.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
19-Mar-15 [6:01am] European equities are set to start mixed as traders take different spins on the dovish FOMC overnight.

Whilst the UK FTSE is still basking in the post budget giveaway, the cooling of hawkish temptations from the Fed has added to that bullish sentiment.

However, over on the continent the Germans, the world's third largest exporter, aren't enjoying the prospect of a weaker dollar/stronger euro hitting their economy.

This has led the German DAX lower on the open, whilst the French CAC doesn't seem to have made up its mind yet.

As widely expected, the FOMC dropped the code word 'patience' from its statement, however, it was replaced by dovish rhetoric from Yellen.

The statement spurred speculation that the Fed is in no rush to raise interest rates and highlighted its uneasiness about the modest economic data seen recently.

With an imminent rate hike seemingly off the table, the Dow Jones rallied steeply, gaining 218 points to 18,068.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
19-Mar-15 [4:22am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 closed up 107.8pts (1.58%) at 6,950.9
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 218pts (1.22%) at 18,073
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 26.8pts (1.29%) at 2,101.3
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 51.6pts (1.18%) at 4,428.8
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 47pts (0.24%) at 19,499
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 closed down -134.9pts (-1.12%) at 11,868.6
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 closed down -18.2pts (-0.36%) at 5,021.2
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 closed down -167pts (-0.73%) at 22,574
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 15pts (0.14%) at 11,067
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed down -23pts (-0.63%) at 3,656
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 1.2pts (0.24%) at 496.4
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 28.5pts (0.31%) at 9,258.5

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
18-Mar-15 [3:51pm] European Stock Markets

The sell-off continued for a second day in Europe led lower by the German DAX which slipped through 11,900 having been above 12,200 on Monday.

The broader support for equities from the European Central Bank's asset purchases remains in place but the potential turbulence caused by the signal of higher interest rates in the US has caused a bout of risk-off trading.

UK Stock Markets

UK shares traded higher on Monday after the Bank of England signalled lower rates for longer, backed up by weaker labour market data, particularly a slowing in wage growth.

The UK Budget was a bit less austere than the autumn statement which could be generally construed as positive for the business environment.

The Budget was friendly to a number of sectors, most prominently oil and gas, housing and asset management shares.

The Bank of England minutes revealed that the Monetary Policy Committee again voted 9-0 to keep rates on hold with two members feeling the decision was finely balanced.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.7% in the three months through February from 5.6% in January while average earnings dropped from 2.1% in December to 1.8% in January

The BoE minutes paint a picture unchanged from the last Bank of England meeting so markets reacted to the slight uptick in unemployment and slowdown in earnings growth.

The weaker labour market data helped UK stocks to make another leg higher since it implies lower interest rates for longer.

There's really no net takeaway from the Budget for the prospects for the UK consumer, only that the OBR has revised higher its forecasts for UK growth which is a benefit to all.

The FTSE 100 cruised back above 6,900, the major price ceiling it recently cleared before forming new all-time highs as oil companies and house builders outperformed undoing some the weakness in the mining sector.

British oil majors BP and Royal Dutch Shell traded strongly for a second-day running on news of a cut to fuel duties and tax relief for North Sea Oil, while the companies were awarded blocks for exploration in Indonesia.

Shares in Hargreaves Lansdown and St James's Place rallied on the prospect of being possible alternative destinations for UK pensioner's annuities cash.

Tax breaks for savers and a new 'Help to Buy' ISA that matches every £200 deposited with £50 helped shares in estate agent Foxtons and homebuilders Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey trade higher.

Diageo jumped by 2% after the Chancellor announced a 2% cut in duties on spirits, while BAT and Imperial Tobacco traded up on the freeze to cigarette duties.

Barclays is reportedly close to settling a lawsuit with private investors on FX benchmark rigging sending the UK bank's shares higher.

Investors are acting favourably to Royal Mail's new portal to help online retailers better manage returns with shares rising as much as 4% while a drop in competitor FedEx shares was interpreted favourably .

US Stock Markets

US markets sank in early trading on Wednesday ahead of the statement from the FOMC and the press conference held by Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

Apprehensions are brewing over the possible removal of forward guidance from the latest statement by the Federal Reserve, possibly green-lighting the first rate-hike since 2006.

FedEx shares traded lower despite beating on quarterly profits after missing revenue estimates.

Shares in Oracle traded over 4.5% higher as the software-maker met earnings estimates and raised its quarterly dividend by $0.25 per share.

The stock price of Adobe Systems fell by as much as 4% as the company reported better than expected earnings but a slowdown in the increase in subscribers to its cloud-service.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
18-Mar-15 [10:36am] US equities are expected to open slightly lower on Wednesday.

There are some apprehensions brewing over the possible removal of forward guidance from this evening's statement by the Federal Reserve, possibly green-lighting the first rate-hike since 2006.

Will it Stay or Will it Go?

Consensus is for the 'patience' language with respect to the timing of a rate rise to be removed.

Should 'patience' stay; a sell-off in the US dollar and a stock market rally could be in order.

Janet Yellen's Fed has shown itself to be very conscious of market reaction to its announcements, not surprising given the distortions its policies have caused.

With its sensitivity to markets in mind, the Fed could choose to offset the removal of forward guidance by pushing out the dots on the 'dot plot' to suggest a slower pace of rate increases once they do start.

Given that the ECB and Bank of Japan have boosted global liquidity conditions back close to levels seen during the Fed's QE program, equity markets remain supported and could eventually ride out the Fed's decision.

Should the Fed actually remove 'patience' and imply a slower rate increase via the dot plot; then stock markets may accept their fate of a rate hike and take a slower rate of increases as a net positive.

Should the Fed remove the patience language and keep the dots unchanged or imply higher rates sooner, all bets are off and we could be in for a big slump in stocks and a continuation of the dollar rally.

Oracle reported earnings in-line with estimates and shares are expected to rise slightly on the open.

With earnings season all but over, one of the last few important releases to pay attention to for the assessing the overall market is FedEx.

The delivery company is a bellwether for the health of the US economy with more deliveries signalling stronger consumer and business demand.

Expectations are for $1.87 per share on revenues of $11.8bn.

Futures suggest that the S&P 500 will open 2 points lower at 2,072 with the Dow Jones expected to open 19 points lower at 17,830 and the NASDAQ 100 2 points lower at 4,373.

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 - 14 Apr 2015

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 14 Apr 2015 7 Apr 2015 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 2.1:1 17,241 9,265 7,976 108,686 11,349
S&P 500 Index 5.8:1 9,966 9,711 255 110,473 910
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 4.4:1 13,617 11,854 1,763 66,124 2,165
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 6.8:1 30,915 30,486 429 110,708 7,249

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 19-Mar-15

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