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:











MarketChangeSellBuy
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-Nov-14 [4:33pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is down 14 points, at 6736, as the miners lead the market lower.

In London, the mining sector giveth and taketh away.

Friday's surge was fuelled by the natural resources companies and now the sector is holding the FTSE 100 back, in comparison with its continental counterparts.

Traders quickly cashed in their chips on the back of the Chinese interest rate cut and now the city is wondering if one rate reduction is too little too late for Beijing to hit its annual growth target.

Petrofac is still feeling the pain after it announced a profit warning this morning; shares in the oil services company are down 25%.

The dramatic drop in the price of oil is separating the men from the boys in the oil industry, and I suspect more profit warnings will come out of the woodwork.

Shares in Aviva are off 4% after the insurer made a bid for Friends Life Group.

The shareholders in Aviva are telling the company the two companies should just remain acquaintances.

BT Group has changed its tune as it is mulling over buying O2 back from Telephonic.

The British communications company is looking to move into the mobile business to add to its wireless and fixed-line divisions.

In the US, the Dow is up 15 points at 17,825.

The run up to Thanksgiving is traditionally a strong week for US equities and traders are unlikely to be cashing in their long positions this side of the US holiday.

Retailers will be in fashion this week, as Black Friday kicks off the spending season.

It was a double drop from the US services sector, as the PMI report showed a decrease in November from October's reading, which was revised lower.

A slip in the service industry could keep interest rates low for a 'considerable time'.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
24-Nov-14 [4:09pm] European Stock Markets

Shares in Europe carried on where they left off on Friday, rising alongside the level of global stimulus as more ECB members come out in support of further stimulus.

Here in the UK, deal-mania has managed to keep investors interested.

It's a good time to be an exporter in Europe.

Whilst domestic demand may be tepid, the threat of further monetary easing from the ECB is rapidly weakening the euro, making European goods relatively cheaper abroad, and now credit-fuelled demand could pick up in China thanks to a cut in interest rates.

The ECB's Constancio reiterated on Monday that it's the ECB responsibility to raise prices in Europe, while fellow member Nowotny confirmed the potential need for more stimulus, but dampened prospects of new measures before the first quarter of next year.

The UK was beset with prospective deals on Monday with Stryker apparently again renewing interest in Smith and Nephew, BT looking to takeover O2 and GSK's board is looking for approval from shareholders for its asset swap with Novartis.

US Stock Markets

US markets were trading positively again on Monday, with central bank stimulus in Asia helping offset the reduction from the Fed which is still expected to hold rates low for a sustained period.

US GDP is expected to be revised slightly lower on Tuesday from 3.5 to 3.2% after exports slowed in September which markets are anticipated to take largely in their stride.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
24-Nov-14 [3:01pm] Today was a big day for British stocks, with some dramatic losses and gains weighing on the FTSE after the UK market had closed out last Friday on a seven week high.

The flatness of the FTSE can be traced back to the dismal Monday for companies like Avingtrans and Petrofac, who both saw stock prices drop over 20% today.

There was further big news for British stocks, as sources revealed that BT Group was in talks with both Telefonica, the Spanish owner of O2, and EE, as the British communications giant seeks to re-engage with the UK mobile market.

Both BT and Telefonica have proved to be winners on the stock markets in the face of this deal.

In Europe, after strong business climate figure this morning, the DAX continued to rise.

This positive sentiment extended into the euro, as it recovered slightly after Draghi's talk of quantitative easing scared the currency last Friday.

If the Dow managed to overcome weak openings last week to consistently break its closing records, then it stands to reason that today, with its bullish open, will continue the trend.

With a big Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the horizon, and the Christmas shopping period beginning in earnest just after, there is a significant chance that the Dow could close out 2014 at the 18,000 level.

Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst, Spreadex
24-Nov-14 [10:50am] Equity markets were already set for a strong finish to last week even without the double intervention of ECB President Mario Draghi and a surprise Chinese rate cut.

This helped push equity markets in Europe to their highest levels since the end of September and beginning of October, while sending the euro sharply lower, against the US dollar and the Japanese yen.

As it was, a lot of last week's economic data had already pointed to concern that both Europe and Asia as a trading bloc were underperforming, so the fact that central banks remain committed to keeping the monetary spigots open, shouldn't really be that much of a surprise.

There remains a concern being as to whether or not these actions will be in any way effective as central bankers embark on a race to the bottom, as the People's Bank of China joins the Bank of Japan in further rate cuts and stimulus.

Draghi Remains Concerned About Inflation

The initial catalyst for Friday's moves began with yet another dovish speech by ECB President Mario Draghi, only this time he gave the clearest possible hint that the ECB was growing increasingly concerned about the strength of the recovery in Europe.

His comments to a banking conference that the ECB should 'do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible' was interpreted by markets that we could see further measures as soon as the next meeting in December, when the ECB updates its latest forecasts for growth and inflation.

The ECB President's speech contained no less than 45 mentions of the word inflation, reinforcing the central banks increasing desperation to try and put a floor under declining inflation expectations.

The big concern remains that the market may be overestimating the ability of the ECB to do anything significantly large enough to really make a difference, given continuing German opposition to further relaxations in monetary policy.

The ECB's job won't be made any easier by the Chinese central banks decision to cut interest rates for the first time in nearly two years, as they seek to offset their own slowing economy and deflationary problems, by implementing further stimulus to underpin their own growth targets.

With Europe being one of China's biggest export markets, there is a good chance that as well as their goods and services, Europe will also get China's deflation as well.

While Friday's events have helped push, and could well continue to push, equity markets upwards, they are unlikely to have a significant effect on the underlying growth prospects of either the European, or Chinese economy, where businesses continue to remain reluctant to borrow and/or invest while domestic demand remains weak.

This belief can be reinforced by data this morning that shows global business has slumped to a five year low, with company investment and hiring intentions at their lowest levels since the financial crisis.

Will OPEC Cut Production Targets?

This week's focus is likely to be on Thursday's meeting of OPEC in Vienna and whether we see a production cut.

The recent fall in oil prices, while prompting concerns about deflation, has helped deliver its own fiscal boost to the consumer side of economies across the world, a fact no better illustrated than here in the UK, by falling fuel and food prices.

On the data front today's November German IFO could well see a rebound in business confidence after last week's pick-up in ZEW economic expectations.

Given some of the more recent economic data a strong rebound in sentiment would be a surprise with expectations for a slowdown from 103.2 to 103.0.

The ZEW is a gauge of investor which tends to correlate more closely with the performance of the German DAX.

German businesses tend to be a little more hard headed when it comes to expectations on order books, so should give us a better idea of how the German economy is perceived by the people who matter.

This week is also an important for the latest updates on Q3 GDP from Germany, the US and the UK, as well as the latest unemployment and inflation data from Germany and the EU.

If we are to get further clues as to what the ECB might do next week then Friday's CPI data could well provide it.

Update by David Papier, Sales Trader, ETX Capital
24-Nov-14 [10:33am]

German IFO Data Boosts the DAX to Trendline Resistance



The German DAX is higher after strong IFO data but it struggling to break above a declining trendline around 9810, though a break higher would target the all-time highs.

The FTSE is not joining in with the feel-good rally and continues to underperform its peers, though there is decent uptrend support.



Update by IG Index
24-Nov-14 [10:05am] 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
24-Nov-14 [10:02am] The FTSE has struggled to keep up with European markets and after a couple of hours still looks undecided, up just 4 points.

Asian markets were today still feeling the benefits of Friday's unexpected interest rate cut in China as they closed higher.

Europe on the other hand has already seen the security of the Asian superpower's proactive actions dissipate.

France, Germany and Italy are all due to hear the European Commission's consensus of their draft budgets and all three will be more than a little apprehensive.

An unexpected profit warning from Petrofac, the oil and gas company, has seen markets wallop the shares.

After only an hour's trading they are off by more than 20%.

With Friends Life terminating its share buyback plans, it appears that the UK insurance company's status with Aviva is 'more than just friends'.

An example of how UK banks have hit hard times is the possibility of the Royal Bank of Scotland selling off Coutts to Italian banking interest, which looks all the more probable.

Asda, no doubt prompted by its US owner Wal-Mart, has already started its sales drive to the end of week's 'Black Friday'.

As Tesco has already stated, it believes this US-inspired day of shopping frenzy could be bigger than Boxing Day, so we should only expect the hype to escalate.

Even with this being a short week, courtesy of Thanksgiving, there will be plenty for US traders to get their teeth into, on top of the usual turkey.

With OPEC meeting on Thursday and oil prices still struggling around the $80 level, Wednesday's US oil inventories result has taken on a little more meaning.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 32 points higher at 17,842.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
24-Nov-14 [9:24am] After China provided a global boost to the world's indices by cutting interest rates, there comes news this morning that further cuts may be made, as China desperately tries to avoid deflation.

Buoyed by such news, the Nikkei and Hang Seng performed strongly today.

The positivity coming from the Asian markets should help the Dow continue its record run later today.

The DAX saw a big rally towards the end of last week, as ECB President Draghi's calming comments and movements towards stimulus action compensated for some poor figures coming out of Germany at the start of last week.

Despite healthy Ifo Business Climate figures, with no scheduled conference from Draghi, Germany and the euro alike currently have no safety net of positive reinforcement from the President, so will be relying on the continued bullish sentiment leftover from last week.

Despite oil rallying slightly last week, Petrofac, the oilfield service provider, has warned that due to slowing demand in China, and oil's usual woe on an increase in US production, profits will fall by 25% in 2015.

This dismal display from Petrofac has done the FTSE no favours; following a strong Friday last week, the FTSE lost some steam over the weekend, and begun Monday relatively flat.

As we enter Thanksgiving week, the Dow Jones closed out last week at another record high, climbing nearly 100 points on Friday.

The Dow will be keeping a careful eye on the big movers and shakers of the Black Friday sales, as the fortunes of these companies will have an undoubted impact on the index.

Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst, Spreadex
24-Nov-14 [9:06am]

DAX Jumps as China Cuts Interest Rates



A surprise rate cut in China has aided Chinese building stocks and helped boost the DAX 30 as Germany exports significantly to China.

The FTSE 100 has seen a golden cross in the moving averages, targetting resistance at 6771, although the Nikkei 225 is struggling to break higher.



Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development, CMC Markets
24-Nov-14 [8:08am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading down -0.6pts (-0.01%) at 6,742.3
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 3pts (0.02%) at 17,806
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 is trading up 0.5pts (0.02%) at 2,064.0
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 0.2pts (0.00%) at 4,248.4
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading down -13pts (-0.07%) at 17,391
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading down -1.5pts (-0.02%) at 9,713.3
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 10.2pts (0.24%) at 4,350.0
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 is trading down -48pts (-0.24%) at 19,834
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 50pts (0.48%) at 10,537
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 7pts (0.22%) at 3,194
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 is trading down -0.4pts (-0.09%) at 423.0
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 5.0pts (0.06%) at 9,080.5

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
24-Nov-14 [7:39am] US indices gained on Friday, helped by shares in the Materials, Energy and Capital Goods sectors.

The S&P 500 (2063.5) remains above both its 20 DMA (2025.6 - upward slope), and 50 DMA (1980.2 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a positive note.

Update by InterTrader
24-Nov-14 [6:25am] Equity markets were already set for a strong finish to last week even without the double intervention of ECB President Mario Draghi and a surprise Chinese rate cut.

This helped push equity markets in Europe to their highest levels since the end of September and beginning of October, while sending the euro sharply lower, against the US dollar and the Japanese yen.

As it was, a lot of last week's economic data had already pointed to concern that both Europe and Asia as a trading bloc were underperforming, so the fact that central banks remain committed to keeping the monetary spigots open, shouldn't really be that much of a surprise.

There remains a concern being as to whether or not these actions will be in any way effective as central bankers embark on a race to the bottom, as the People's Bank of China joins the Bank of Japan in further rate cuts and stimulus.

Draghi Remains Concerned About Inflation

The initial catalyst for Friday's moves began with yet another dovish speech by ECB President Mario Draghi, only this time he gave the clearest possible hint that the ECB was growing increasingly concerned about the strength of the recovery in Europe.

His comments to a banking conference that the ECB should 'do what we must to raise inflation and inflation expectations as fast as possible' was interpreted by markets that we could see further measures as soon as the next meeting in December, when the ECB updates its latest forecasts for growth and inflation.

The ECB President's speech contained no less than 45 mentions of the word inflation, reinforcing the central banks increasing desperation to try and put a floor under declining inflation expectations.

The big concern remains that the market may be overestimating the ability of the ECB to do anything significantly large enough to really make a difference, given continuing German opposition to further relaxations in monetary policy.

The ECB's job won't be made any easier by the Chinese central banks decision to cut interest rates for the first time in nearly two years, as they seek to offset their own slowing economy and deflationary problems, by implementing further stimulus to underpin their own growth targets.

With Europe being one of China's biggest export markets, there is a good chance that as well as their goods and services, Europe will also get China's deflation as well.

While Friday's events have helped push, and could well continue to push, equity markets upwards, they are unlikely to have a significant effect on the underlying growth prospects of either the European, or Chinese economy, where businesses continue to remain reluctant to borrow and/or invest while domestic demand remains weak.

This belief can be reinforced by data this morning that shows global business has slumped to a five year low, with company investment and hiring intentions at their lowest levels since the financial crisis.

Will OPEC Cut Production Targets?

This week's focus is likely to be on Thursday's meeting of OPEC in Vienna and whether we see a production cut.

The recent fall in oil prices, while prompting concerns about deflation, has helped deliver its own fiscal boost to the consumer side of economies across the world, a fact no better illustrated than here in the UK, by falling fuel and food prices.

On the data front today's November German IFO could well see a rebound in business confidence after last week's pick-up in ZEW economic expectations.

Given some of the more recent economic data a strong rebound in sentiment would be a surprise with expectations for a slowdown from 103.2 to 103.0.

The ZEW is a gauge of investor which tends to correlate more closely with the performance of the German DAX.

German businesses tend to be a little more hard headed when it comes to expectations on order books, so should give us a better idea of how the German economy is perceived by the people who matter.

This week is also an important for the latest updates on Q3 GDP from Germany, the US and the UK, as well as the latest unemployment and inflation data from Germany and the EU.

If we are to get further clues as to what the ECB might do next week then Friday's CPI data could well provide it.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
24-Nov-14 [6:12am] European equities are set to start flat, already fully digesting Friday's central bank euphoria.

A surprise rate cut from the PBoC and a big hint from Mario Draghi that outright sovereign bond purchases are getting closer sent stocks soaring.

However, the dovish news wasn't enough to keep the rally going in the US session.

Whilst the major US indices did notch up yet more gains, they closed well off their session highs.

The marginal rate of return on each attempt to pump up a flagging global economy seems to be deteriorating fast.

With so many of the world's major central banks falling back on loose monetary policy at the same time, the more suspicious traders are wondering how dire things really are to warrant such action.

Although the bulls are happy to play along with the charade of rising equity prices, the fact that economies which contribute 42% of the world's GDP (European Union: 23%, China: 12.7% and Japan: 6.5%) are still having to resort to such measures should be ringing alarm bells.

The Dow Jones reached a fresh all-time high on Friday, just shy of 17,900, largely on the positive US economic data.

From the housing sector to the labour market, the recovery is now becoming strong enough to withstand weakness abroad.

At the same time, more than three quarters of corporate earnings surpassed estimates in the latest reporting season, fuelling investor optimism.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
24-Nov-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 62.9pts (0.94%) at 6,742.9
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 83pts (0.47%) at 17,803
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 9.0pts (0.44%) at 2,063.5
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 3.5pts (0.08%) at 4,248.2
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 146pts (0.85%) at 17,404
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 228.9pts (2.41%) at 9,714.8
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 110.3pts (2.61%) at 4,339.8
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 closed up 659pts (3.43%) at 19,882
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 296pts (2.90%) at 10,487
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 88pts (2.84%) at 3,187
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 7.1pts (1.71%) at 423.4
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 89.5pts (1.00%) at 9,075.5

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.


Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
21-Nov-14 [4:09pm] Indices are storming ahead this afternoon as dovish central banks once again intervene.

Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is up 70 points.

Baton-passing is all the rage at the moment among central banks.

When the Fed retires from easing, the BoJ takes over.

Now, we have the sight of a handover in the space of a morning, as Mario Draghi hints at ECB QE and then steps back to allow China to cut interest rates.

Either of these would have boosted stock markets, but both taking place on the same day as options expiry meant that the morning became one of high drama.

Crucially for the FTSE, China's move awakened the mining sector, with today's rally in raw materials stocks showing just how much the sector had held back the FTSE rally since mid-October.

Even gold and silver miners were on the march, as the yellow metal pushed back through $1,200.

Meanwhile in Europe markets raced higher on hopes that continuing signs of deterioration and the big gap between the ECB's December and January sessions will prompt the governing council to act.

With the data moving his way, Mario Draghi is likely to become increasingly confident that he can sway other members to act, even in the face of German opposition.

The market seems to be developing a momentum all of its own, as buyers that missed the rally are spooked into action as fresh all-time highs are seen in US indices.

It looks like the pre-Thanksgiving rally has come early, although with holidays looming traders could be forgiven for wanting to eke out some more points at the beginning of next week.

Even so, the feeling that a new pullback is due is gathering strength – it certainly would take a lot of the froth out of the market, and crucially allow more investors chasing good year-end figures time to get back on the bus.

Before then, however, we need to get the US holiday out of the way, and with plenty of data on the ticket in the first three days of next week equities could continue to gain ground for the time being.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index

Readers please note:


Trading Risk Warning

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

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market Indices

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market Indices?


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

Live Stock Market Spread Betting Prices and Charts


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Advanced Stock Market Charts


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

Typical index spread betting chart

Stock Market Trading Guide - Example Chart


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

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market for Free?


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

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

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

Free Demo Account


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


Stock Market Trades: Daily vs Futures Markets


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

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

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

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

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

For a more detailed example see Rolling Daily Spread Betting.

Futures Markets

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

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

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


How to Spread Bet on Stock Market

How to Spread Bet on a Stock Market Index?


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

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

FTSE 100 Index - Rolling Daily Example


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note: Wall Street market as of Jun 2012.


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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 - 18 Nov 2014


Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 18 Nov 2014 11 Nov 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 2.3:1 28,715 25,421 3,294 143,442 7,902
S&P 500 Index 1.8:1 6,199 5,630 569 148,714 2,818
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 3.5:1 15,325 15,012 313 84,518 5,426
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 3:1 35,950 39,858 -3,908 126,538 -1,070


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-Nov-14

For related articles also see:





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