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
24-Jul-14 [1:28pm] European equities continued to hold onto gains for a third day, helped by strong Chinese and Germany manufacturing data.

The FTSE was also lifted by a recovering banking sector after Fitch upgraded a number of banks.

Manufacturing activity in Germany expanded at a faster rate than expected in July, easing concerns over the health of the Eurozone's largest economy.

The manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to a seasonally adjusted 52.9 this month from a final reading of 52.0 in June.

Chinese manufacturing data also beat expectations, growing at its fastest pace in 18 months in July.

The survey by HSBC showed a rise to 52 in July from 50.7 in June, the latest evidence that the country's economy may be stabilising.

Facebook reported after the close yesterday, pushing shares up by 10% during pre-market trading.

The world’s largest social media company reported a 61% increase in revenue during the second quarter, beating Wall Street's financial targets and sending shares to a record-high.

Update by Lee Mumford, Trader, Spreadex
24-Jul-14 [10:48am] Geopolitics has been side-lined for now and the focus has switched to earnings results from, in the words of Janet Yellen, some of the more 'stretched' sectors of the stock market.

As it turns out, the earnings performance has been impressive with Biogen, Gilead Sciences and especially Facebook all knocking the ball out of the park, helping US markets look towards a higher open.

Futures suggest that the Dow Jones will open 31 points higher at 17,117, with the S&P 500 expected to open 2 points higher at 1,989 and the NASDAQ 7 points higher at 3,993.

Shares in Biogen flew higher by 11% after reporting 23% earnings growth and a big jump in sales boosted by its successful multiple-sclerosis drugs.

Gilead Sciences have put aside political debate over the pricing of its Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi as sales, profits and its stock price soared.

Facebook continue to impress in the areas that have held back other social media companies, with mobile ad revenue and user growth both seeing big gains and pushing the stock to all-time highs.

Up today are earnings from Ford, Caterpillar, Visa, Amazon, American Airlines and Starbucks.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
24-Jul-14 [9:03am] US stocks saw mixed trading yesterday, with Boeing weighing on the Dow but Apple and Facebook buoying the S&P 500.

Update by Joe Quinn, Market Analyst, ETX Capital
24-Jul-14 [8:08am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading down -18.3pts (-0.27%) at 6,772.0
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones is trading down -33pts (-0.19%) at 17,062
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 is trading down -3.5pts (-0.18%) at 1,983.7
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading down -5.6pts (-0.14%) at 3,980.0
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading down -83pts (-0.54%) at 15,263
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading down -51.0pts (-0.52%) at 9,698.5
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading down -14.8pts (-0.34%) at 4,355.3
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 is trading down -98pts (-0.47%) at 20,724
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 is trading down -26pts (-0.24%) at 10,637
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading down -15pts (-0.47%) at 3,175
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 is trading down -1.9pts (-0.47%) at 406.3
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 2.0pts (0.02%) at 8,600.5

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
24-Jul-14 [7:42am] US indices were mixed on Wednesday.

Shares in the Technology Hardware & Equipment, Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences and Health Care Equipment & Services sectors traded higher while shares in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment, Media and Capital Goods sectors were under pressure.

The S&P 500 (1987.01) remains above its 20 DMA (1971.5 - positive slope) and its 50 DMA (1942.4 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a flat note.

Update by InterTrader
24-Jul-14 [6:24am] The outperformance of US equity markets continued yesterday, with another new record for the S&P 500 as the index looked to close in on that elusive 2,000 level.

Geopolitical concerns continued to be pushed aside, despite further clashes between separatists and the Ukraine military, as US investors stayed upbeat in the wake of recent earnings reports.

Be that as it may, European markets remain much less exuberant and given what's happening on their Eastern borders it's not hard to see why, and that's before you factor in a weak and feeble economic recovery.

Bundesbank Raises German Growth Concerns

Earlier this week the German Bundesbank, in its July monthly report, expressed its belief that economic growth in Germany had more or less stagnated in Q2.

This rather frank admission merely serves to underscore recent concerns about a lot of the weak economic data, not only out of Germany in recent months, but also from around the broader Eurozone.

The sharp drops seen in May industrial production data across the board have been dismissed in some quarters as a consequence of the number of bank holidays in that month, which might be plausible if it weren't for weaknesses in other areas of the economy.

The fact is that, along with geopolitical concerns, economic activity continues to slow as the recent steps by the ECB show little signs of manifesting themselves in the real economy.

While the Bundesbank may have been more positive about the rest of the year, it is hard to see how they can be, given that the same factors that were a drag on economic activity in Q2 are from being resolved.

It stands to reason that these issues are likely to continue to be a drag throughout the rest of the year.

European PMIs Set to Weaken

Given last week's events in Ukraine, the likelihood of a normalisation in economic activity between Russia and Germany remains slim, and could well get worse if more sanctions are imposed, which seems likely given Europe's weak response so far.

Today's preliminary manufacturing and services PMI data for July from both France and Germany could well reinforce the weak narrative for Q3, with French data expected to remain firmly in contraction territory at 48 and 48.2 respectively.

German data is also expected to weaken slightly, though it still remains fairly robust at 51.9 for manufacturing and 54.5 for services.

The only bright spot, if you can call it that, is that Spanish unemployment is expected to show a drop to 25% from 25.9%.

However, that's likely to be small comfort to the remainder of the workforce who remain unemployed, with a youth rate well north of 50%.

UK Economic Plateau

While the economic recovery in Europe continues to remain weak the inevitable side effect of that is likely to trickle through to the UK's recovery, which still nevertheless remains fairly robust, though it has started to plateau a little, if recent data has been any guide.

This plateau effect would appear to explain the recent weakness in sterling as the market starts to realise that a potential rate hike this year is not the done deal many thought it was a few weeks ago.

Yesterday's Bank of England minutes certainly didn't add any colour to the debate, with the central bank remaining concerned about the lacklustre nature of recent wages data, which continues to lag well behind inflation.

Retail sales for June are expected to recover somewhat after the weak May reading of -0.5%, with a rise of 0.3% expected, though the bounce back may well have been hindered by England's early exit from the football World Cup.

Still, it is expected to be a more positive quarter than Q1, which showed a net decline in retail of -0.4%, with a net gain of 0.8% if June's numbers come in as expected, and there are no revisions.

In the US, weekly jobless claims are expected to come in at 307k, slightly up from 302k.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
24-Jul-14 [6:13am] We are expecting stock markets in Europe to edge lower this morning.

Despite a positive finish yesterday and a surprisingly strong HSBC PMI out of China overnight, sentiment remains cautious.

Equities may have been buoyed by Europe's lack of cohesive action over Russia, but today sees the European Commission debate the tougher economic sanctions that were mentioned at Tuesday's Foreign Ministers meeting.

Expectations are that they will stay true to form and do nothing, but traders are on standby as there is always the possibility that international pressure may spur some surprise action.

The Dow Jones ended slightly lower at 17,088 last night following a sharp fall for Boeing, one of the top constituents.

The aviation stock's weak results were a surprise as the general tone of corporate earnings has been positive, especially in conjunction with signs that inflation has been kept on a short leash.

However, investors are clearly unconvinced as they have pushed the Dow even further down during out-of-hours trading, discarding the better-than-expected results for Chinese manufacturing.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
24-Jul-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 17.4pts (0.26%) at 6,790.3
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones closed down -1pts (0.00%) at 17,095
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 7.0pts (0.35%) at 1,987.2
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 31.0pts (0.78%) at 3,985.6
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 15pts (0.10%) at 15,346
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 52.8pts (0.54%) at 9,749.5
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 11.9pts (0.27%) at 4,370.1
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 closed down -17pts (-0.08%) at 20,822
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 26pts (0.24%) at 10,663
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 9pts (0.28%) at 3,190
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 1.4pts (0.34%) at 408.2
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 18.0pts (0.21%) at 8,598.5

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
23-Jul-14 [4:05pm] The FTSE has continued to claw back lost ground as it battles to break back above 6800.

European equity market enthusiasm continues to be tempered, possibly due to the knowledge that tomorrow morning will bring a plethora of manufacturing PMI data from across the Eurozone nations, and these have not always guaranteed good news of late.

Any chance the FTSE had of easing itself away from the 6800 level have been anchored by the profit warning from GlaxoSmithKline's second-quarter figures, as the drugs manufacturers profits have been badly hit by a number of patents and an underperforming drug for lungs.

After seeing its first-half profits jump by 16%, Capita Group, the UK-based services company, looks to be underplaying its hand a little in simply confirming that it is 'optimistic' in meeting full-year targets.

Having enjoyed an eye-watering selection of US equities reporting over the last couple of weeks, a little more attention can be focused back on the UK tomorrow.

We have the likes of easyJet, Unilever, SABMiller, Kingfisher, Tate & Lyle and Hammerson all updating the markets with figures or trading updates.

Today has been another full day of US corporate figures, the highlights being AT&T, Gilead Sciences and Facebook, which are all reporting after the markets close tonight.

So far over 70% of US companies have posted figures that have beaten expectations, and any worries the market might have had that earnings multiples looked unsustainable are being eased.

Facebook, the template for tech companies on how to monetise users without charging subscription fees, will be watched closely to see how successful its advertising streams are working out from mobile devices.

In the US, equity markets perpetual race to see which index can be the most bullish, the NASDAQ currently heads the pack, although it is still some considerable distance away from breaking all-time high benchmarks from early 2000.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
23-Jul-14 [3:58pm] European Stock Markets

European stocks continued to claw back some gains after tougher Russian sanctions from the EU failed to materialise from the meeting in Brussels yesterday as Ukrainian rebels appear more cooperative surrounding the crash site in Donetsk.

There were no dissenting voices at the Bank of England, with voting remaining 9-0 in favour of keeping rates unchanged.

One of the bigger takeaways from the minutes was that some MPC members said the risk of a rate rise derailing the UK recovery has receded.

Governor Carney in his speech later in the day elaborated saying 'The MPC is balancing the implications for inflation of hard evidence of sustained economic momentum against conflicting signals over the degree of slack in the labour market.'

The FTSE 100 rallied early on after strong results from Capita, BHP Billiton and Renishaw but reversed gains as price approached the low from 7 July driven lower by a miss on the top and bottom line from GlaxoSmithKline.

China is one of the biggest growth area for pharmaceutical companies these days so the 20% drop in China sales after the bribery allegations have hit the company hard.

US Stock Markets

US markets continue to look inwards with a strong earnings focus.

Apple and Microsoft earnings gave investors mixed feelings after hours yesterday but were overall impressed by results from Delta Airlines, Boeing and PepsiCo.

The S&P 500 made another intraday all-time high despite a wobble from another airline crash in Taiwan, while the Dow was showing some weakness in the face of decent earnings from Boeing trading mostly flat early on above 17,100.

Boeing, the aerospace behemoth beat profit forecasts and raised its yearly guidance.

Delta Airlines earned $1.04 per share on revenue of $10.6bn in line with estimates.

Delta's stock recently dropped after profit warnings from Air France and Lufthansa over Middle East competition from the likes of Emirates but it may be that US carriers are not as heavily affected as those in Europe.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Jul-14 [2:24pm] Stocks remain lightly traded this afternoon, as investor flow continues to temper in the wake of the effect of geopolitical tensions on financial markets.

The appetite for risk, while measured, finds itself matched at these levels for the time being.

The FTSE 100 is largely unchanged at 6,800, with the Xetra DAX gaining almost 0.5% in afternoon trading.

The Dow is opening relatively unchanged, too.

Big winners on the London main market today are Renishaw and Kazakhmys, up 19% and 6.2% respectively.

Renishaw delighted shareholders this morning by posting a 17% increase to pre-tax profit, encouraging plenty of buy orders by the open.

The big loser today is Glaxo, after dealers marked the stock lower on poorly received results and a profit warning.

Shares continue to decline down below 1500p, down 6.3% now.

Update by David White, Trader, Spreadex
23-Jul-14 [1:21pm]

Best Year for AIM IPOs Since 2007?

In this trading video, IG take a look at why this year is proving to be so good for AIM market floatations.

Update by IG Index
23-Jul-14 [10:28am] Tech giants Apple and Microsoft partly missed estimates after hours but most important for what looks to be a generally higher open for US markets is the lack of conviction in sanctions offered by the EU against Russia.

This lessens the chance of lost trade for international companies and so futures suggest that the Dow Jones will open 10 points higher at 17,123, with the S&P 500 expected to open unchanged at 1,983 and the NASDAQ 2 points higher at 3,963.

Before the US opening bell there will be earnings from Boeing, PepsiCo, Delta Airlines and Biogen while after the close AT&T, Gilead Sciences and Facebook report.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen in her congressional testimony stated that some social media and biotech stock valuations look 'stretched'.

While the Federal Reserve is perhaps not the best source of equity analysis, the comments do highlight the importance of today's earnings reports from Biogen, Gilead Sciences and Facebook in justifying overall stock market valuations.

A steadily improving global economy and renewed air travel demand is expected to help Boeing plane orders, while increasing global geopolitical tensions is good for defence spending.

The company is expected to report earnings of $2.01 per share on revenue of $22.33bn.

A fall in sales from Coca Cola yesterday doesn't bode well for soda rival PepsiCo today.

Coke did blame the drop partly on restructuring but wider market dynamics like the soft drinks regulations in Mexico are likely to have had similar negative impacts.

The company is expected to earn $1.23 per share on revenue of $22.23bn.

Global air travel is steadily increasing since the financial crisis but not without its troubles thanks to Malaysia Airlines.

Delta Airlines has been improving customer service with flat beds and on-demand entertainment available on all international flights, matching the service offered by its part-owned flight sharing partner Virgin Atlantic.

Delta is expected to earn $1.04 per share on revenue of $10.65bn.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
23-Jul-14 [10:09am] A tentative move above the 6800 level for the FTSE removes the latest hurdle in its rally, although Bank of England minutes provided no surprise.

Markets have eased off after the gains of yesterday, content to consolidate around these levels after all the volatility of the past week.

Signs of division in European capitals reduced the chance of further organised sanctions against Russia, but there is still a faint chance that they will pull something together at the last minute, applying some Eurozone crisis management to the situation.

SSE and LSE have gone ex-dividend today, knocking a modest amount off the morning gains, but it was Capita that stole the limelight with a bullish update that points towards a strong year ahead.

The shares have spiked over 3% to all-time highs, as investors got behind the Chief Executive's plan for the year ahead.

Yet again the BoE minutes were a source of little excitement in voting terms, but a subtle shift does seem to be underway below the surface, as the recovery looks to become more established some committee members have become less anxious about a potential rate rise.

GBP/USD continued to drift in the wake of the minutes but the general course of events does point towards a $1.72 reading here in due course.

It wasn't the most thrilling set of results from Apple, but the figures were enough to assuage any lingering doubts about iPhone growth.

iPad growth is a different story, and it seems the high price tag for the device is still acting as a deterrent for some consumers.

New all time highs on the S&P 500 yesterday came as geopolitical concerns receded, and while US Treasury yields maintain a clear distance from the 3% level there seems little that can really endanger the rally.

Ahead of the open, we are expecting the Dow Jones to start unchanged at 17,113.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
23-Jul-14 [9:20am] 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

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 - 15 Jul 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 15 Jul 2014 8 Jul 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1.4:1 10,087 5,034 5,053 124,372 7,395
S&P 500 Index 1.1:1 782 5,840 -5,058 139,389 -1,488
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2.3:1 10,379 8,979 1,400 71,645 -549
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 11.8:1 40,746 38,115 2,631 91,998 -443

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-Jul-14

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