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
17-Oct-14 [4:38pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is up 95 points at 6290 as fears over the Eurozone ease for now.

In London, equities are finishing the week on a positive note as Greek bond yields retreat.

The fear has evaporated out of the Eurozone today as bond markets have calmed down but I wouldn't get too comfortable as next week is likely to be a rocky ride.

The Eurozone debt crisis has a history of rearing its ugly head, Ebola has yet to be contained, China's GDP report will tell us the golden days of Chinese growth are over.

Confidence in equity markets takes months to be gained but it is lost in hours.

In the US, the Dow Jones is up 245 points at 16,362.

Strong consumer confidence, combined with robust results from blue-chip stocks, is fuelling the rally.

Bank of New York Mellon and Morgan Stanley proved that Wall Street banks rule the roost.

General Electric's earnings per share marginally missed estimates but the change of strategy away from finance and more concentration on the industrial side of the business pleased traders.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
17-Oct-14 [3:28pm] European Stock Markets

European markets look set to end a turbulent week on a much more positive note, with comments from Bank of England Chief Economist Andrew Haldane about the prospects for low interest rates for longer helping support stock markets.

Investors appear to be taking heart from the belief that central bankers are listening to their concerns about a premature tightening of monetary policy.

It does speak to a larger problem though with respect to who controls financial markets in that in the first sign of significant volatility central bankers feel compelled to offer soothing words of comfort in the manner of an adult trying to calm a sulky child with the offer of more sweets.

As it is while we've seen strong gains today the likelihood is that we still look set to finish the week slightly lower.

On the plus side, the best performers today have been the oil companies after the rebound in the oil price with Tullow Oil leading the gainers.

Oilfield services provider Petrofac is also showing good gains after reporting that it was on track to hit this year's profit forecasts.

Also today we saw the first day of trading for luxury shoe maker Jimmy Choo and it has been a fairly inauspicious start.

The shares settled at the bottom end of their price range, though they started to edge higher in the afternoon session, dragged up by everything else.

The apparent lack of interest one way or the other suggests a market currently fairly sanguine about the prospects for the luxury shoemaker, but the fact that we didn't get a strong first day pop suggests that markets remain unimpressed with respect to the reasons for proceeding with the sale.

The fact that the management don't seem that interested investing the proceeds of the sale in the underlying business, suggests a lack of faith in the business model going forward, despite their claims to the contrary.

The fact is, if management seem reluctant to invest the proceeds of the IPO in building the business up in China, why should they expect outside investors to?

On the downside Rolls Royce shares are sharply lower after the company warned that revenues for 2014 would be lower than 2013, and that it might not return to growth in 2015.

US Stock Markets

US markets opened sharply higher today as the spill over effect of James Bullard's comments yesterday continued to underpin sentiment. That being said it still looks likely that US markets may well finish a turbulent week lower than where they finished last week.

Shares in focus included Google after the US technology giant missed expectations on profits, after the bell last night, coming in at $2.8bn down 5% from the same period last year. Revenue expectations also came in short.

Apple shares are also in focus after the company unveiled its new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 at a press event yesterday.

General Electric latest earnings also came in ahead of expectations, as did Morgan Stanley.

On the economic data front US housing starts for September rose by more than expected to 6.3%, partially reversing the revised 12.8% decline seen in August.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
17-Oct-14 [12:05pm] Our latest blog post takes a look at the implications of the recent falls in equities and crude oil.

Does the Stock Market Slump Represent a Buying Opportunity?

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
17-Oct-14 [10:42am]

Equities Bounce as Dollar Pulls Off its Lows

The FTSE is higher this morning despite news of a Rolls Royce profit warning, amid reports of a potential merger between Sainsburys and Marks & Spencer.

In addition, luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo is set to float at the bottom of its expected range at 140p.

Update by David Papier, Sales Trader, ETX Capital
17-Oct-14 [10:04am] European equity markets are clawing back some of this week's losses, and the FTSE has added 60 points by mid-morning.

In the early stages of Friday's trading day equity markets are behaving in a considerably calm and more calculating manner.

Having closed below the 6200 level, not seen since June 2013, the FTSE has quickly rectified that situation.

As attractive as many equity and index levels might be, it would be surprising to see the bulls become too enthusiastic.

Opening up fresh long positions just before the weekend, especially when policy makers like the FOMC's James Bullard is throwing around such explosive comments, would appear unlikely.

A rally in the oil price in overnight Asian trading has seen the FTSE climbers list dominated by oil companies.

However, with oil market supply massively outweighing demand, this could just be a momentary blip.

Rolls Royce has posted a profits warning, downgrading its outlook for the year, from flat to between -3.5% and -4%.

The effect of the Russian sanctions was cited as the reason for postponed and cancelled orders.

The troubling scenes in the Eurozone sovereign debt and equity markets have not dented Europe's drivers, with September sales up 6.1%, the thirteenth month of increases in a row.

The dampened enthusiasm for IPOs has seen Jimmy Choo start trading today at 140p, the lower end of its IPO price range.

Most of the major US corporates have continued the trend of beating expectations when posting their third-quarter figures, with the notable exceptions of JP Morgan and Google.

As important as the US corporate third-quarter figures are, greater weighting will be given to the tone of Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech today.

Markets will be expecting a dovish tone to reflect the intrepidation that markets have as the Eurozone recovery continues to stall.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 66 points lower at 16,478.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
17-Oct-14 [9:45am] You could almost hear the screeching of tyres and smell of burning rubber as some US policymakers floated the idea of slamming on the brakes with respect to stimulus withdrawal.

The waves from St Louis Fed Chief James Bullard's remarks about extending QE are continuing to reverberate across the financial markets.

He was joined this morning by Andrew Haldane the Chief Economist from the Bank of England, who suggested that interest rates could well stay lower for longer given the gloomy outlook for global growth.

As investors digest this apparent change of tone from various policymakers, US markets look set to open higher this morning ahead of a key speech by Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen later today.

What this indicates is how difficult it is going to be to wean addicted investors and markets off the monetary stimulus that has been a regular feature of daily life for more than five years.

Could we be looking at the prospect of QE forever?

The larger question is whether or not Mr Bullard's views are his own, or are representative of other members of the FOMC committee.

Google Misses on Revenue and Profits

On the earnings front, shares in focus include Google as the US technology giant missed expectations on profits after the bell last night, coming in at $2.8bn, down 5% from the same period last year.

Revenue expectations also came in short.

Some traders are keeping an eye on Apple shares after the company unveiled its new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 at a press event yesterday.

On the economic data front, we have US housing starts for September due out later and they are expected to rise 5.1%, up from the 14.4% decline seen in August.

Building permits are also expected to 2.7%, up from the 5.1 decline seen in August.

As far as today's earnings are concerned we will be continuing the banking theme with the latest numbers from Morgan Stanley, and Bank of New York Mellon, whilst General Electric's Q3 earnings are also due.

The Dow Jones is expected to open 138 points higher at 16,255, with the S&P 500 expected to open points 17.5 points higher at 1,879.5.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
17-Oct-14 [8:54am]

Stock Markets Attempt to Rebound but Remain Below Resistance

The Dow Jones saw a bounce from its session lows last night, recovering to slightly above its opening price, with other global indices reflecting the rebound.

The Nikkei 225 has continued to be weighed down by strength in the Japanese yen which is targetting ¥104.75.

Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development, CMC Markets
17-Oct-14 [8:54am]

Confusion Across the Global Markets Drag Stocks to their 2014 Lows

This impressively detailed, 45-minute, technical analysis video features a discussion between Chief Market Analysts Michael Hewson and Colin Cieszynski about the huge volatility and confusion in the world's key stock markets, forex, commodities and bonds.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
17-Oct-14 [8:04am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 39.2pts (0.63%) at 6,214.1
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 45pts (0.28%) at 16,153
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 is trading up 5.5pts (0.30%) at 1,864.7
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 8.7pts (0.23%) at 3,762.6
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading down -113pts (-0.77%) at 14,581
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 63.4pts (0.74%) at 8,634.5
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 22.8pts (0.58%) at 3,932.3
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 28pts (0.15%) at 18,116
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 46pts (0.48%) at 9,706
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 18pts (0.63%) at 2,883
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 is trading up 1.9pts (0.51%) at 377.7
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 43.5pts (0.54%) at 8,086.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
17-Oct-14 [7:57am] At last, some respite for major indices, including Asian equities, after continued pro-democracy protests, positive US economic data reinstating confidence that the world's largest economy will not be heading into a downturn.

The data has calmed the turbulence of the huge sell offs incurred recently, the Hang Seng has clawed back losses trading above 23,000, up 130 points as investors become more bullish at the sign of stable US data.

Unemployment claims were announced at 264k, 22k less than expected, along with industrial production up 1%, of course giving the impression of a strengthening economy.

UK supermarkets are likely to take the headlines today as Tesco looks to restructure and Sainsbury's struggles to give investors' any sign of confidence in the company.

The FTSE is looking to open pretty flat at 6200 and the DAX is up 10 at 8613 as European equity slides stabilise.

Commodities have been on the slide over the past few weeks as the dollar consecutively strengthened against euro and sterling until the end of this week.

Brent oil did breach the $83 mark but recovered throughout yesterday and last night to end the day with a net gain rising to around $85.5 per barrel.

However, the damage has been done as energy companies share prices have taken the brunt of losses, EnQuest fell 4.6p, 6% to a record low of 72.7p.

A look ahead at today, Fed Char Yellen speaks otherwise it is a quiet day in regard to data announcements which should allow investors to take in the past economic data and the volatility that has been brought about over the last two weeks.

Investors are likely to be on edge as global growth seems to be slowing despite positive US data.

Update by Toby Goar, Financial Trader, Spreadex
17-Oct-14 [7:28am] US indices were flat on Thursday.

Shares in the Automobiles & Components, Energy and Transportation sectors traded higher while shares in the Food & Staples Retailing, Software & Services and Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences sectors were under pressure.

The S&P 500 (1862.76) remains below its 20 DMA (1946.3 - negative slope), and its 50 DMA (1967.7 - negative slope).

European markets are expected to start on a flat note.

Update by InterTrader
17-Oct-14 [6:12am] European stocks look set to open slightly lower despite a strong reversal of sentiment in the US.

St Louis Fed President James Bullard waded into battle yesterday to recommend that the end of the bond buying programme could be delayed in an effort to reduce decreasing inflation expectations.

The suggestion of further financial first-aid was welcomed by the bruised and battered markets, particularly as it came from one of the Fed's most hawkish members.

Strong US data also made a slight mockery of the sell off.

All of this was music to the bulls' ears, who rushed in to overturn an intraday sell off and helped the Dow close 20 points higher at 16,110.

Despite the positive finish, it was another day on the rollercoaster for investors, and the 'teacups' of the summer must seem like a distant memory.

Fortunately, it seems that the volatility index (VIX), a measure of market fear, may have peaked for now.

The bulls will be hoping for a drama free day to end a very turbulent week.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
17-Oct-14 [5:37am] Financial markets have endured some brutal swings in price action over the past few days.

Uncertainty has been building up over the outlook for global growth against a backdrop of what can only be described as confusion on the next fork in the road for central bank monetary policy.

At one point yesterday, equity markets were down between 2% and 3%, before paring back a good chunk of those losses to only close marginally in the red.

Europe Heads for Fourth Negative Weekly Close

Even so there remains a good chance that European equity markets could well finish lower for the fourth week in succession.

However, given some of the price swings seen this week, it probably wouldn't be wise to put any money on that, particularly with a number of keynote ECB speakers due to talk later this morning including Constancio, Coure, Nowotny and Bundesbank Chief Jens Weidmann.

Expect plenty of references to central bank toolboxes etc…

What the recent volatility does illustrate though is how unsure investors have become after what had been pretty much a one way bet on stocks over the last five years.

We can also see that bond yields of Europe's weaker countries appear to be diverging away from their recent lows, as investors start to become more realistic about the risks involved in owning Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian bonds.

For the past two weeks, with concerns about Europe and Ebola weighing on sentiment, the prospects for global stock markets were starting to become more and more uncertain.

While the bears have had the upper hand so far, there have been some tentative signs of brave bulls looking to get back into the market.

Bulls Re-Enter the Market as Bullard Suggests Keeping QE

The current uncertainty in markets was no better illustrated by the sharp reaction to comments from St Louis Fed President James Bullard yesterday, when he suggested that that the end of QE should be delayed if necessary.

This might suggest a deep anxiety at the heart of the US central bank with respect to the slowdown in global growth, and perhaps the recent strength of the US dollar, pushing down US inflation expectations.

We already know from the last FOMC minutes that the Fed is concerned about Europe, and given recent events maybe that concern is rising amongst some of the members.

Mr Bullard did then go on to contradict himself somewhat by saying that the hard data on the US economy had been good, which begs the question why he would consider extending QE.

The fact is that his opinion probably doesn't really matter given that he isn't a voting member this year, or next year for that matter.

However, the concern is he may not be the only Fed member thinking along those lines, and that reason alone would have been enough to explain yesterday's sharp rebound.

Now Markets Want to Know What Janet Yellen Thinks

That being said, it doesn't change the overall gloomy picture for the economy outside the US, and as such probably wasn't the wisest thing to say, given the skittish nature of the markets, and the proximity of the next Fed meeting in just under two weeks time.

As for today, with little in the way of economic data out, markets certainly have less potential for sharp moves either way.

They currently look set to open lower, though given recent Fed comments you can be sure that investors will be hanging on every word Janet Yellen has to say in a speech later today, particularly in light of recent moves in equity markets.

We do have US housing starts for September due out later and they are expected to rise 5.1%, up from the 14.4% decline seen in August.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
17-Oct-14 [4:04am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 closed down -46.1pts (-0.74%) at 6,174.9
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 25pts (0.16%) at 16,109
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 6.6pts (0.36%) at 1,859.2
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 0.2pts (0.01%) at 3,753.9
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 4pts (0.03%) at 14,694
Falling Stocks The German DAX 30 closed down -7.1pts (-0.08%) at 8,571.1
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 closed down -35.0pts (-0.89%) at 3,909.5
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 closed down -241pts (-1.31%) at 18,088
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 closed down -50pts (-0.51%) at 9,660
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed down -43pts (-1.48%) at 2,865
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 closed down -4.1pts (-1.08%) at 375.8
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed down -101.0pts (-1.24%) at 8,042.5

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
16-Oct-14 [4:34pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 remains under serious pressure as it looks to close down by over 40 points.

Equity markets have struggled for any sense of perspective as both comments from economists and economic data have offered already jittery investors yet more reason to panic.

The VIX fear index continues to bubble around year highs, and the FTSE has now seen gains acquired from back in June 2013 wiped out.

Once again conversations around equity trading floors are focused on the sovereign debt market as Greek 10-year debt hits yields of 9%, well above the 7% danger level.

Market commentators will once again be dusting off their 'Greek Tragedy' quotes as this move looks anything but a short-term blip.

AbbVie's comments about the Shire takeover have seen any lingering doubts that this deal could be salvaged put to bed, with the share price falling by another 8% today.

Not that equity markets needed someone to inject a little life into them by throwing about inflammatory comments, but that has not stopped Fed member James Bullard.

His suggestion that the Fed postpone the end of its debt purchasing scheme saw volatility jump.

Last night's figures from Netflix looked remarkably like they were trying to shoot themselves in the foot, and the out of hours trading in the share price saw it drop by a quarter.

Equity traders are feeling less than charitable at the moment, and it has started much as it performed overnight.

Goldman Sachs once again has beaten market expectations, a record that is showing no sign of becoming unstuck regardless of the chaos surrounding it.

Update by Alastair McCaig, 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 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 - 7 Oct 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 7 Oct 2014 30 Sep 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1.7:1 17,171 26,042 -8,871 132,272 -6,129
S&P 500 Index 1:1.6 -7,327 -2,079 -5,248 128,038 -110
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2.6:1 13,737 13,916 -179 75,014 -607
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 2.7:1 19,267 29,650 -10,383 98,042 -6,506

Quick Stock Market Guide:

  • FTSE 100: The index that highlights the performance of the UK's top 100 companies, as ranked by their market capitalisation. The FTSE 100 is normally the most popular spread betting market and a number of firms offer 24 hour trading from Sunday evening to Friday evening. In spread betting, the FTSE 100 is also referred to as the ‘UK 100’.

  • FTSE 250: The index of the next 250 UK companies, after the top 100. The FTSE 250 is sometimes referred to as the ‘UK 250’ or ‘FTSE MID 250’.

  • FTSE 350: The index of the top 350 UK companies by market capitalisation. It is a combination of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 stocks. You cannot normally trade a FTSE 350 market in spread betting.

  • Dow Jones: An index of 30 of the most traded US stocks. In financial spread betting and CFD trading this market is also known as the ‘Wall Street’ index. Like the FTSE 100, it is extremely popular with spread bettors.

  • S&P 500: Defines the broader US equity market, tracking the performance of the top 500 US companies. Sometimes referred to as the ‘SPX 500’ or ‘US 500’.

  • NASDAQ 100: NASDAQ stands for the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The NASDAQ 100 is an index that reflects the performance of high tech stocks in the US. Sometimes referred to as the ‘US 100’ or ‘US Tech 100’.

  • Nikkei 225: The price-weighted average of 225 stocks of the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Japan 225’.
For more details on an individual index see our individual stock market guides above.

Case Study: Applying Technical Analysis to a Stock Market Index

Below, an older but still useful case study on the FTSE 100 by Shai Heffetz, InterTrader, 31-Aug-2011.

Looking at the candlestick chart below, we can see that up to the end of July 2011 the FTSE 100 was trading within a narrow range and staying reasonably close to the Ichimoku cloud.

At the beginning of August, it broke downwards out of this range and the price started to drop sharply. It continued to drop for nearly a week, during which time it went down by nearly a thousand points to well below 4,900.

Following that we saw a relatively strong recovery to just below 5,400 on 16 August and then another downward correction.

The FTSE 100 price is presently trading sideways without any clear direction.

Daily FTSE Spread Betting Chart

From a pure technical analysis point of view, traders should adopt a wait-and-see approach before taking any positions in the market.

The price is currently trading inside the cloud of the Ichimoku Kinko Hyo, which is a clear indication of market uncertainty.

The FTSE has continued to get closer to the upper border of the Ichimoku cloud. However, whilst the green Chinkou Span line is marginally above the price of 26 periods ago, this is not enough of a reason to enter into a long trade.

Taking into account the recent volatility in the market, if it breaks out of the cloud in an upwards direction a cautious trader would wait for a second, confirming signal before entering a long trade.

This could be when the blue Kijun Sen line also breaks out of the Ichimoku cloud in an upwards direction.

On the other hand, traders who are looking for a short trade should wait for the price to drop below the recent lowest level of 4,846.

Where Can I Find a Stock Market Index Trading Platform/Software?

Some of the spread betting firms offer software/trading platforms that you have to download and install onto your computer. Most firms however, offer web based platforms that allow easier access from home, the office and most other places with internet access.

The companies listed in our price comparison section all have web-based platforms where you can spread bet on indices and individual shares.

Trading Risk Warning
'Stock Market Spread Betting' edited by Jacob Wood, updated 17-Oct-14

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