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
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
21-Nov-14 [3:28pm] The Dow has bucked its recent trend for weak openings.

This has some on positive sentiment emanating from ECB President Draghi's interventionist comments surrounding European stimulus, as well as China's surprise decision to cut interest rates.

Despite this positivity, fears have been ignited in the US over the further discord growing between Republicans and Democrats, as President Obama seeks to use executive power to instigate immigration reform.

This led to House Speaker Boehner stating that Obama had torpedoed any chance of bi-partisan co-operation.

Such stubbornness from both parties is what led to a government shutdown earlier in the year, and any sign of similar issues is troubling for the markets.

Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst, Spreadex
21-Nov-14 [10:44am] US stock markets look set for a higher open on Friday after China cut interest rates and ECB President Mario Draghi again hinted at expanded asset purchases.

This comes after a slew of better data from the US on Thursday which saw Philly fed business confidence survey hit its highest since 1993.

China has cut interest rates on the one year deposit rate by 0.25 bps and the one year lending rate by 0.4 bps.

The cut follows the HSBC manufacturing PMI dropping to bang on 50, just holding into expansion territory earlier this week.

The Chinese government have obviously decided to act on the front foot and prevent the manufacturing sector dropping into contraction.

Mr Draghi said that if current measures fail to increase inflation expectations then the central bank will adjust policy 'by altering accordingly the size, pace and composition of purchases'.

The ECB President sent the euro crashing and stocks rallying on the prospect of more printing and further devaluation.

American shares look like building on the gains made in the previous session in the tech and energy sectors that got a lift from a strong outlook from Intel and a respite in the decline in oil prices.

The resulting fall-back in oil prices from the strong dollar will be a negative for energy stocks, but the overriding prospect of more global stimulus will boost risk-taking, push yields down and should feed through into higher demand for equities.

Gap shares look set to open lower after lowering its forecast for the year, but Intel's higher forecast and dividend hike as well another divvy hike from Nike support the higher open for the Dow Jones.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open 7 points higher at 2,059 with the Dow Jones expected to open 50 points higher at 17,769 and the NASDAQ 14 points higher at 4,256.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
21-Nov-14 [10:44am]

Intel Results Help S&P 500 Hit Another All-Time High

Positive economic reports and an upbeat forecast from Intel helped US stocks move higher, with the S&P 500 hitting its 44th record closing high this year.

Vodafone has been in the news amid allegations that Cable and Wireless helped British government agencies spy on millions of internet users.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
21-Nov-14 [9:56am]

Rio Tinto Benefits from Increased Price Target from BNP Paribas

With brokers raising their price targets for Rio Tinto, Johnson Matthey and TUI Travel, IG's David Madden considers some of the reasons why these stocks are in focus.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
21-Nov-14 [9:42am] The FTSE has set off at a healthy pace up 36 points after the first hour of trading.

Asian markets' resilience overnight has given European traders a fresh boost of optimism, possibly coupled with the Friday feel-good factor, and helped ensure all the major equity markets steer clear of any red.

ECB President Mario Draghi will once again be the focus of early morning traders as he speaks at the 24th European Banking Congress.

Markets will be interested to see if there are any new ideas on how to improve the trickle of cash that is coming out of banks and going to small and medium-sized businesses.

At the same time they will be monitoring his comments for any reference to the mythical European QE.

Rolls Royce has benefited on the back of Delta Airlines' order of 50 new Airbus planes, as the British engineering firm will be responsible for providing the $5 billion worth of engines required for the fleet.

For the first time this week the FTSE fallers list is not dominated by the mining sector, as 24 hours of stability in the commodities markets has finally given them a little respite.

The same can't be said for Serco as a cloud of uncertainty continues to hang over the company.

Having already sold off by some 35% over the course of this week, it has seen another 6% knocked off in the morning session, as markets fret over who they can find as Chairman following Alastair Lyons' resignation.

Regardless of the wobbles that both Asia and Europe have had this week, the US markets continue to power on, almost oblivious to anyone else.

It is hard to see what might rock the boat, as today is another day with limited corporate announcements and a scarcity of economic data releases.

This means calm conditions for US equity markets to carry on with plain sailing.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 57 points higher at 17,776.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
21-Nov-14 [9:28am] Following more disappointing data, ECB President Draghi again provided reassuring words this morning.

He discussed the actions that could be taken in order to help the Eurozone escape its slump, whilst failing to confirm any actual dates or figures.

The President stated that if inflation was to continue at its dismal lows, the European Central Bank was prepared to expand its asset purchase program in an attempt to lift the Eurozone out of the mire.

Draghi also implied a wariness of quantitative easing, pointing to the yen's depreciation after the Bank of Japan's QE expansion as an example of potential problems.

The euro, spooked by Draghi's reminder of what can happen to the forex markets when quantitative easing is enforced, reacted negatively to his speech this morning.

In political news, the UK saw UKIP take their second seat as they beat out the Tories, suggesting a fraught and unpredictable general election next year.

This upsetting of the usual political order could cause a lot of volatility in the UK markets the closer the country gets to the general election next year.

After a weak opening yesterday, the Dow managed to escape the stranglehold of bad global data that had affected the European markets, rallying to another set of record highs as it looks toward Thanksgiving and Black Friday next week.

Its latest achievement in its month long climb to daily records is a trend that looks set to continue as it is buoyed by the busy retail period in the next two weeks.

Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst, Spreadex
21-Nov-14 [8:07am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 10.8pts (0.16%) at 6,690.8
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 22pts (0.12%) at 17,742
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 is trading up 2.8pts (0.14%) at 2,057.3
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 4.1pts (0.10%) at 4,248.8
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 58pts (0.34%) at 17,316
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 27.9pts (0.29%) at 9,513.8
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 12.5pts (0.30%) at 4,242.0
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 38pts (0.20%) at 19,261
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 39pts (0.38%) at 10,230
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 9pts (0.29%) at 3,108
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 is trading up 1.1pts (0.26%) at 417.4
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 18.0pts (0.20%) at 9,004.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
21-Nov-14 [8:02am]

Real Estate Investment Trusts Perform Well

With the real estate sector outperforming the FTSE, IG takes a look at the technical and fundamental outlook for British Land and Hammerson.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
21-Nov-14 [7:29am] US indices rose on Thursday led by shares in the Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment, Energy and Technology Hardware & Equipment sectors.

The S&P 500 (2052.75) remains above both its 20 DMA (2020.6 - upward slope), and 50 DMA (1978.6 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a flat note.

Update by InterTrader
21-Nov-14 [6:15am] US markets have continued to go from strength to strength this week, closing again at record levels yesterday, though the underperformance of the Russell 2000 continues to perplex.

Once again some encouraging economic data has kept investors viewing the US economy through the prism of a glass half full.

A blow out Philadelphia Fed manufacturing number for November, a 21 year high of 40.8, tempered a slightly disappointing manufacturing PMI and weekly jobless claims starting to head back towards the 300k mark.

Even European markets look set for a positive week despite some pretty disappointing economic data at the back end of the week, though they are still underperforming relative to US markets.

Yesterday's disappointing flash PMI numbers for Germany and France point to an economy that is stuck in neutral at best, while both Japanese and Chinese manufacturing PMI also came in shy of expectations reinforcing the former's decision to boost its QE program a few weeks ago.

All of this points to two out of the three trading blocs in the world struggling to recover, while the US continues to outperform.

The only question on most people's lips being how long can the US maintain its current progress, while Europe and Asia continue to underperform, without suffering some sort of drag effect.

Greek Budget in the Headlines

Today's European market action is likely to see a slightly firmer start with a fairly light day on the economic data front, though we could well see some tension surrounding Greece's 2015 budget.

This could well steal some headline space as Prime Minister Samaras puts the proposed budget to the President of the Greek parliament this morning.

There remains significant disagreement between Greek policymakers and the troika regarding a supposed fiscal gap, which if no agreement is reached between the two could delay its next aid instalment on 8 December.

ECB President Mario Draghi is scheduled to make a speech at the latest European Banking Congress on the subject of 'Reshaping Europe' where I'm sure he will remind us all that the ECB remains prepared to do more to help the economy within its mandate.

Later we'll also hear from Bundesbank Chief and fellow ECB Governing Council member Jens Weidmann, as the tug of war goes on within the ECB about whether to do full blown QE.

Expect to hear comments from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble as well.

On the economic data front, the UK economy continues to blow a little hot and cold, after retail sales data for October showed a gain of 0.8%, well above expectations of 0.3%.

These gains were helped in part by discounting and lower prices on food and fuel as supermarkets continued to slash margins in an attempt to maintain market share.

Today's public sector borrowing numbers for October are also expected to show a marked improvement from September's £11bn, with an expectation of a figure in the region of £7bn.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
21-Nov-14 [6:10am] Shares in Europe are set to open flat as persistent weakness continues to temper the bulls.

Despite US markets continuing to plough ever higher, that optimism is being offset by European traders focussing on weak domestic factors.

Yesterday's fragile manufacturing and services PMI figures were another indication of how precariously balanced Europe's economy is on the edge of recession.

On Monday, Draghi said that the ECB will consider doing more but wants to assess how well the current tools are working before acting again.

Well, the measures don't seem to be having any immediate impact, so traders will be on the lookout for some dovish comments from Draghi when he speaks this morning.

Positive data and better than expected earnings from retailers pushed the Dow into further highs yesterday.

After taking a hit following weak cues from Europe and Asia, US equity markets were able to bounce back and finished 0.2% up on the day.

Whilst this is another sign that the economy is improving, is it enough to raise interest rates?

Only time will tell.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
21-Nov-14 [4:07am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 closed down -19.6pts (-0.29%) at 6,680.0
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 39pts (0.22%) at 17,721
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 5.5pts (0.27%) at 2,054.5
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 23.6pts (0.56%) at 4,244.7
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed down -176pts (-1.01%) at 17,258
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 3.4pts (0.04%) at 9,485.9
Falling Stocks The French CAC 40 closed down -41.4pts (-0.97%) at 4,229.5
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 closed down -178pts (-0.92%) at 19,223
Falling Stocks The Spain 35 closed down -151pts (-1.46%) at 10,191
Falling Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed down -25pts (-0.80%) at 3,099
Falling Stocks The Holland 25 closed down -1.6pts (-0.38%) at 416.3
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed down -5.5pts (-0.06%) at 8,986.0

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
20-Nov-14 [4:28pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is down 20 points, although US indices are shaking off early losses to move higher.

Morning losses have been regained in London during the post-lunch session, as optimism returns following strong numbers on the US economic front.

China weakness is still weighing down the mining sector.

As we look ahead to the final month of the year, it is sobering to think that any FTSE rally will probably have to go on without the raw materials sector.

Anglo American, BHP and Rio were all down by 2% or more.

By contrast, Babcock advanced to the top of the scoreboard after strong results and a successful bid to acquire the Defence Support Group from the MoD.

Having seen the shares retreat from all-time highs over recent months, shareholders will be delighted that the company is now marching ahead in double-quick time.

The Philadelphia Fed might be mocked for its rather volatile readings, but when an index hits a 20-year high traders are liable to sit up and take notice.

US indices opened lower, following the lead set by Europe, but rapidly found their footing as the business activity index jumped to 40.8, smashing expectations.

It helps to confirm the generally upbeat tone regarding the US economy adopted in the Fed minutes, emphasising the difference between the Eurozone and America.

After days of weakness, it was heartening to see the small cap Russell 2000 take the lead, rising 0.6%, with the S&P 500 up 0.1% and the NASDAQ up 0.3%.

Only the Dow was held back, with IBM knocking seven points off the index.

Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst, IG Index
20-Nov-14 [3:48pm] European Stock Markets

Shares in Europe took a turn for the worse on Thursday thanks to manufacturing and service sector purchasing manager surveys that indicated Europe's economy is far from out of the woods yet despite hope offered by a recovery in German investor confidence on Wednesday.

French PMI's were weaker falling to 47.6 in manufacturing and 48.4 in services while German PMI's were also down with the manufacturing survey falling to 50 and services to 52.1 resulting in the composite Eurozone PMI falling from 52.1 to a 16-month low of 51.4

In the UK, better than expected retail sales and gains from Babcock International and Johnson Matthey were not enough to undo anxieties of a slowdown in China which weighed on the mining sector.

UK retail sales picked up in October rising 0.8% after a drop of 0.4% in September.

Mild weather continued to dampen clothing sales but furniture sales jumped lagging the booming housing market earlier in the year.

Falling iron ore and copper prices hampered mining stocks Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton on Thursday after Chinese data implied a further reduction in industrial metal demand from the world's largest consumer of commodities.

Following the announcement of a new contract with the ministry of defence, Babcock announced strong interim profit growth.

Johnson Matthey gained after lifting its full year guidance.

Royal bank of Scotland shares were lower after a fine from the FCA and Bank of England for IT failures.

US Stock Markets

Markets in the US had a rocky start after jobless claims and manufacturing PMIs missed expectations and data from abroad soured prospects for the global recovery but a huge rebound in consumer confidence lifted sentiment later on.

Best Buy shares rallied as much as 8% after the company beat profits estimates and saw its first rise in same-store sales in a year thanks to improved product sales from the likes of the iPhone 6 and wearable technology.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets

Readers please note:

Trading Risk Warning

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

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market Indices

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market Indices?

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

Live Stock Market Spread Betting Prices and Charts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advanced Stock Market Charts

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

Typical index spread betting chart

Stock Market Trading Guide - Example Chart

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

Where Can I Spread Bet on Stock Market for Free?

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

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

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

Free Demo Account

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

Stock Market Trades: Daily vs Futures Markets

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

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

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

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

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

For a more detailed example see Rolling Daily Spread Betting.

Futures Markets

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

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

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

How to Spread Bet on Stock Market

How to Spread Bet on a Stock Market Index?

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

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

FTSE 100 Index - Rolling Daily Example

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note: Wall Street market as of Jun 2012.

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

Individual Stock Market Guides

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Commitments of Traders Stock Market Reports

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

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

Also see our Commitments of Traders guide.

Summary Indices Non-Commercial and Open Interest COT Report - 11 Nov 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 11 Nov 2014 4 Nov 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 2.2:1 25,421 22,064 3,357 135,540 2,570
S&P 500 Index 1.8:1 5,630 5,820 -190 145,896 -6,662
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 3.6:1 15,012 9,752 5,260 79,091 11,034
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 3.5:1 39,858 31,497 8,361 127,608 9,403

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 21-Nov-14

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