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
02-Mar-15 [4:47pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE is set to finish in the red after posting a new intra-day high.

The FTSE 100 just couldn't hold on to the early gains as the losses from the mining sector became too much to bare.

Natural resource stocks initially jumped on the back of the Chinese rate cut announcement, but anxiety set in as to why Beijing needs to loosen rates in the first place.

Barclays is set to finish the day on a positive note ahead of the full-year figures tomorrow, and the bank is expected to continue cutting costs.

The bank's investment arm is anticipated to be the worst performing unit, as deleveraging and low market volatility will see profits at the division dive.

Tullett Prebon is on the rise as the inter-dealer broker will reveal its annual figures tomorrow.

Trading conditions have been tough as tighter regulation and a risk-off attitude at banks have seen revenues drop in recent years.

The Dow Jones has rocketed higher in early trading as US equity traders fall back into the old habit of taking bad news as good news, and the disappointing economic announcements have just nudged back the possibility of any interest rate hikes.

The Fed's mantra is that rates will remain unchanged for at least 'two meetings', and now that the cracks are beginning to show in the US recovery Janet Yellen will be wheeling out that phrase for some time to come.

The jobs report at the end of the week will be the highlight for Wall Street, and dealers will be going over all the detail of the announcement, in particular the participation rate.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
02-Mar-15 [3:40pm] European Stock Markets

The weekend actions of the People's Bank of China in cutting interest rates initially helped push the FTSE 100 and the German DAX to new record highs today, against a backdrop of a slightly improved outlook in some of the more stressed parts of the Eurozone.

France and Greece continued their association with economic underperformance but it was a sharp decline in Brent oil prices that served to cap the upside in European equity markets, dragging most of Europe's benchmark indices into negative territory, as the day progressed.

The biggest fallers were in the oil and gas sector with Africa based Tullow Oil suffering the biggest losses on the back of speculation that it could lose its place in the benchmark index at the latest quarterly review.

Royal Dutch Shell shares were also trading lower.

The outperformers came from the banking sector with Royal Bank of Scotland shares rebounding after getting hit heavily last week on the back of some weak results.

Barclays shares are also trading higher, up close to one year highs, ahead of the bank's annual results which are due out tomorrow morning.

US Stock Markets

US markets opened the new week slightly lower after initially looking to open higher as a mid-morning slide in Brent oil prices, and some disappointing economic data took some shine off the early optimism.

The weaker open proved pretty short-lived as the NASDAQ Composite hit the 5,000 level for the first time since March 2000.

The latest US personal income and spending data showed a consumer content to save their surplus cash in response to the recent fall in oil prices.

A deeper than expected fall in personal spending in January suggests that, despite rising consumer confidence, and fairly robust US GDP, that consumers remain very much in cautious mode.

The latest ISM manufacturing index for February didn't replicate the fall seen in last Friday's Chicago PMI but it did come in weaker at 52.9, with the employment component also falling back to 51.4, the second month in a row that it has come in weaker than expected.

These slightly weaker numbers have helped drag US markets off their lows suggesting that a US rate hike remains some way off, though this afternoon's rebound in the US dollar and sell off in the US bond markets, would appear to suggest otherwise.

In company news, HP announced that it was acquiring Aruba Networks for $2.7bn as it seeks to reorientate itself away from the PC market and more towards enterprise wireless networks solutions.

It is also worth keeping an eye on Apple shares after a couple of days of decline, particularly in light of this morning's announcement by Samsung that it will be releasing two new versions of a new S6 Edge mobile phone, complete with a curved screen.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
02-Mar-15 [10:30am] US markets look set to take their cues from today's rebound in Europe which has been driven by the weekend actions of Chinese authorities in easing monetary policy further in response to a stagnating manufacturing sector and falling prices.

It's also set to be a key week data wise with the latest February ISM manufacturing numbers due out later today along with some key inflation data.

Friday's sharp drop in Chicago manufacturing could well be a leading indicator for disappointment in the ISM numbers later today after an unexpected fall from 59.4 to 45.8 in February.

While expectations for today's ISM are for a lower number they aren't expected to be anything like the fall seen in Friday's Chicago number.

A reading of 53 from 53.2 is expected.

Expectations remain fairly high that we will see some form of policy action by the Federal Reserve on interest rates later this year, however, this could well take a knock later today if core PCE which is the Feds main price targeting measure remains weak.

It is currently at 1.3% year on year, with a month on month rise of 0.1% expected.

Disappointing economic numbers are likely to keep a floor under stock markets as it would imply that rates are likely to stay lower for longer, though they could well sink the US dollar, which has continued to rise on expectations of higher rates.

The Dow Jones is expected to open 28 points higher at 18,170.7, whilst the S&P 500 is set to open 3 points higher at 2,107.5.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
02-Mar-15 [10:08am] Better-than-expected manufacturing figures have helped push the FTSE higher by 25 points as traders start the new month off on a bullish note.

China has done its best to start the week off on a positive note with its slightly better-than-expected manufacturing figures and the Chinese central bank's decision to cut interest rates by 25 basis points.

This cut sees China reduce interest rates down to 5.35% and become the 17th nation to cut rates this year.

Expectations are also high that Australia will cut its rates again tomorrow.

However, somewhat less cheerily, this action does point towards the Asian powerhouse cutting its growth rate outlook down to 7% for the year ahead.

Although pre-market calls had pointed to a soft open, the FTSE has quickly shaken off this malaise and again looks to be threatening the 7000 level.

IAG's CEO Willie Walsh will try one more time to convince the Irish government to sell its 25% stake in Aer Lingus and that he is a safe pair of hands.

The complicated asset and cash swap proposal between pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis looks to have been completed, with the return of up to £4 billion to GSK shareholders sure to leave a smile on the faces of at least one set of participants.

Chocolatier Thornton's has underwhelmed the markets with its first-half figures this morning.

Considering that Christmas and December sales had been up by 7.8%, the 9.7% fall in pre-tax profits has seen expectations melt away.

The mining and banking sectors in the FTSE have helped drag the equity index to within touching distance of the mystical 7000 level.

In recent years they have frequently been blamed for hampering the FTSE's efforts in climbing higher, but both Barclays and the RBS are at present leading from the front.

US equity markets paired back some of their recent runs as they closed out last week on a softer note.

However, with the bullish start to the European markets setting the tone for the new month, pre-market calls are for a return to the more optimistic mindset frequently associated with the US.

After seeing both China and the UK overshoot manufacturing expectations, this template looks like it will be replicated this afternoon by the US rather than the lacklustre Eurozone equivalent.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 38 points higher.

Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst, IG Index
02-Mar-15 [10:04am] 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
02-Mar-15 [8:13am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 25.7pts (0.37%) at 6,957.8
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 13pts (0.07%) at 18,175
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 is trading up 1.4pts (0.07%) at 2,108.7
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 6.7pts (0.15%) at 4,453.4
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 17pts (0.09%) at 18,843
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 26.3pts (0.23%) at 11,422.5
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 2.2pts (0.04%) at 4,942.8
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 110pts (0.49%) at 22,459
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 53pts (0.47%) at 11,226
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 16pts (0.45%) at 3,602
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 is trading up 1.4pts (0.29%) at 485.3
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 3.5pts (0.04%) at 9,026.0

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
02-Mar-15 [7:37am] US indices declined on Friday pressured by shares in the Technology Hardware & Equipment, Diversified Financials, and Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment sectors.

The S&P 500 (2104.5) remains above its 20 DMA (2077.8 - positive slope), and 50 DMA (2056.1 - positive slope).

European markets are expected to start on a flat note.

Update by InterTrader
02-Mar-15 [6:31am] European stocks are set to start mixed on the open.

An overnight rate cut by the PBoC has largely been shrugged off by the European markets.

With so many central banks resorting to the policy to prop up their economies, it now seems more like a sign of weakness than something to get the bulls geed up about.

This week's economic calendar is also keeping traders on the sidelines as a host of big impact data and central bank meetings could well turn up the volatility by a couple of notches.

The US Department of Commerce revised its estimate of Q4 GDP down to an annualized growth rate of 2.2%, down from an initial estimate of 2.6%.

On top of that pending home sales figures and Chicago PMI also disappointed investors, sparking a sell off in the last trading session of the month.

As a result, the Dow Jones dropped 49 points to 18,163.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
02-Mar-15 [5:46am] It's somewhat surprising that in the wake of a week of record highs in global markets that concerns remain about the resilience of the global economy and the prospects for growth in 2015.

We've certainly seen markets maintain their ability to shrug off all manner of concerns and tail risks as the FTSE 100, German DAX and US markets hit record highs.

This is despite events in Ukraine, Russia and Greece, as well as the Middle East to give investors pause, and that's even before we consider events in China, and the possibility of a slowdown there.

China Drops the Base Rate

Over the weekend, the Chinese central bank acknowledged these concerns as it became the 17th central bank this year to ease monetary policy by reducing its headline rate by 0.25% to 5.35% as it seeks to engineer a soft landing for its slowing economy, against a backdrop of falling prices.

These tail risks remain an ever present threat but investors for now appear content to ignore them as recent economic data appears to be showing some signs of recovery.

It would be a mistake, however to put this down to central bank efforts to boost economic growth, as it is more likely that the stimulus has come about as a result in the recent fall in oil and food prices.

Over the weekend we saw a slight improvement in some of the most recent Chinese manufacturing data, but at best it showed an economy that was stagnating as opposed to growing.

This is likely to see Chinese authorities downgrade their growth forecasts for the Chinese economy to 7% this year, its lowest levels for years.

Concerns about the fall in prices look set to remain in sharp focus this week with the latest policy announcements from the Australian central bank, as well as the Bank of England, and the European Central Bank.

The ECB will be publishing their latest economic forecasts later this week, at around the same time that recently announced QE program is set to get under way.

Greece Remain Under Pressure

The pressure is set to remain on Greece this week to prove its reform commitment as concerns continue to grow about how it intends to fund itself in the weeks between now and June after its bailout extension was approved in the German parliament on Friday.

The Greek government still needs to implement a number of reforms and will need to make up to €4bn of loan repayments by the end of this month, money that it currently does not appear to have.

This morning we will be getting the final manufacturing PMI numbers for February for Spain, Germany, Italy and France, and these numbers are expected to confirm that Spain and Germany continue to outperform with numbers of 55.2 and 50.9, while Italy and France continue to struggle with readings of 50 and 47.7 respectively.

We also will be getting sight of the latest unemployment numbers from Italy and Europe with both set to remain at eye wateringly high levels of 12.9% and 11.4%, while CPI inflation is set to fall further into negative territory at -0.6%, reinforcing this week's start of QE by the ECB.

The UK economy is also expected to continue to remain resilient in Q1, with a similar positive February manufacturing sector reading of 53.4, an improvement from 53.

The latest lending data for January is also expected to show a pick-up as lower oil prices give a boost to consumer confidence and encourage a pickup in credit figures as mortgage approvals and consumer credit get a boost on the back of reduced concerns about a rise in interest rates.

The US economy is also expected to be in focus this week when we get to learn the latest employment data at the end of this week as worries start to rise that the economy in the US may not be as resilient as originally thought.

This fear was reinforced on Friday with a disastrous drop into contraction the latest Chicago manufacturing number for February to 45.8 from 59.4.

If this is translated into a similar fall in the ISM manufacturing number today, which it well might, then we can expect to hear concerns about a slowdown in the US economy start to gain traction.

Expectations are for a figure of 53.2, but the main focus will be on the inflation data, or PCE which the Fed uses as its inflation benchmark, which is expected to tick up to 0.1% for January.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
02-Mar-15 [4:13am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Falling Stocks The FTSE 100 closed down -14.2pts (-0.20%) at 6,932.1
Falling Stocks The Dow Jones closed down -50pts (-0.27%) at 18,162
Falling Stocks The S&P 500 closed down -4.2pts (-0.20%) at 2,107.3
Falling Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed down -13.9pts (-0.31%) at 4,446.7
Falling Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed down -32pts (-0.17%) at 18,826
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 78.3pts (0.69%) at 11,396.2
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 41.5pts (0.85%) at 4,940.6
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 closed up 185pts (0.83%) at 22,349
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 55pts (0.49%) at 11,173
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 18pts (0.50%) at 3,586
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 1.9pts (0.39%) at 483.9
Falling Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed down -21.0pts (-0.23%) at 9,022.5

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
27-Feb-15 [4:26pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE is clinging onto marginal gains as the London market looks set to finish the month on a positive note.

European equity markets barely reacted to the news that Germany agreed to Greece's reforms, and in reality Greece was never going to get its application for an extension knocked back.

The song and dance that played out over the last month about Greece's finances was a political stage show, and we will go through it all over again in a few months when the extension runs out.

Lloyds announced a dividend of 75p, which may not be much but at least the bailed-out bank has proven that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Westminster has been gradually winding down its stake in the UK's biggest lender, and we will get a better picture about the company's future after the general election in May.

The Dow Jones is in negative territory after the disappointing Chicago PMI and University of Michigan consumer confidence numbers took the spark out of the strong US GDP report.

Federal Reserve member William Dudley expressed his concern that raising rates too soon will do more harm than good.

Mr Dudley's remarks contradict James Bullard's comments from yesterday, who is edging towards more hawkish commentary.

Equity traders will have to rely on good old fashioned economic announcements now that reporting season is relatively quiet and the political circumstances in Greece and Ukraine are stable for now.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
27-Feb-15 [4:07pm] European Stock Markets

It was a generally positive day of trading in Europe with most major benchmarks hovering above opening levels and close to the highs.

German lawmakers approved the Greek bailout with an overwhelming majority but a lingering sense of unease over the plight of Greece remained in markets amidst various unconfirmed reports.

Greek banking stocks dropped heavily after unconfirmed reports of Piraeus Bank cash machines running out of cash.

It has also been said that Athens may delay a debt repayment to the IMF.

Whether these reports end up confirmed or not, it goes to demonstrate the many possible ways Greece could still quickly destabilise markets.

The growth in gross domestic product for Greece slipped back to 1.2% in Q4, while at the same time local dissatisfaction with the debt negotiations led to anti-government protests in Athens.

Airbus shares gained over 5% after announcing a jump in profits and paying out a record dividend.

UK Stock Markets

Generally positive corporate earnings results and a yes vote to the Greek bailout extension in the Bundestag lifted UK spread betting markets early on but trading was generally flat, tempered by the troubles in Athens.

IAG led the FTSE 100 to new intraday highs after upgrading its full-year profit forecast, along with support from a return to paying a dividend at Lloyds.

US Stock Markets

It was a relatively quiet open in the US as shares traded down following a lower revision to fourth quarter growth that was actually slightly above forecasts and a disappointing Chicago PMI.

US Q4 GDP shrank to 2.2% growth in the second estimate, down from 2.6% previously.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index came in at 45.8, well below the 58 expected and the lowest reading since July 2009.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
27-Feb-15 [12:00pm] Germany Votes in Favour of Greek Proposals

Greece appears to have overcome the biggest obstacle between them and a 4 month bailout extension as Germany overwhelmingly voted in favour of the can-kicking move.

However, whilst there were only 32 rebel votes in the Bundestag this morning, the sentiment in the room painted a tenser picture.

Germany is clearly unhappy about this extension, and is very doubtful over Greece's ability, and perhaps more importantly its willingness, to enact the reforms that were approved on Tuesday.

These doubts only gained more validity with the news that Varoufakis has spoken with pride to a Greek television channel about how vague the Greek reforms list was.

Given the negative atmosphere surrounding this vote, the Eurozone indices didn't explode into life once the vote outcome was revealed, instead continuing the minor gains that began this morning.

US Data Remaining Uncertain

After mixed inflation data yesterday, the US stock markets were unimpressed whilst the dollar devoured its currency peers.

America sees another important day of economic releases later today.

Chicago PMI, pending home sales and the revised UoM consumer sentiment all arrive this afternoon, however, most significantly is the release of the preliminary GDP figure.

August and November's growth was strong, and outperformed expectations.

In contrast, this month's figure has been forecast to decline, not the kind of news the hawks will want to hear.

In preparation for this information, the US futures remain decidedly flat, following the lead of their European counterparts.

Heavy Copper Weighs on FTSE Miners

The FTSE slipped marginally into the red as Friday continued.

The UK index wasn't helped by copper, which continued to recede from the recent highs it saw yesterday, taking with it Vedanta Resources.

In the FTSE's other key commodity interest, Brent crude remained above $60 per barrel but this wasn't enough to cause any great surge from the oil sector.

On another quiet day, at the end of another quiet week, the FTSE looks like it will be reliant on the Dow and the DAX to inspire some kind of life as it limps towards the end of February.

Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst, Spreadex
27-Feb-15 [11:00am] Mixed earnings overnight from well-known US retailers and apprehension ahead of the second revision of US fourth quarter GDP is setting up US stocks for a lower open on Friday.

Gap shares could get a lift on the open after the clothing retailer reported better than expected quarterly earnings and announced a $1.4bn buyback program and raised its dividend by 4.5%.

JC Penney shares are expected to fall heavily at the open after reporting a quarterly loss.

Excluding one-off items the company was expected to see a profit but in fact broke even.

US Growth Expected to be Revised Lower

A downward revision is expected in the second estimate of fourth quarter GDP from 2.6% to 2.1%, with core personal consumption expenditures expected to moderate to 1.1% from 1.4%.

The reading would mark a sharp slowdown from the 5.0% growth seen in the third quarter.

Whilst a slowdown was always likely from the huge 5% growth seen in the third quarter, the worry is that the slowdown starts to accelerate into Q1.

FCC Passes Net Neutrality Bill

In perhaps an important moment for internet tech stocks, the Federal Communications Commission voted on a bill for net neutrality.

The advertised benefit of the bill would be to prevent Internet Service Providers from deliberately slowing down or blocking access to certain websites or web services, allowing for a more 'open internet'.

The beneficiaries could include the likes of Netflix or other high-bandwidth online service companies, while top ISPs such as Verizon and Comcast would lose out from the extra revenue gained from charging to increase internet speeds.

The FCC appears to be refusing to testify to Congress over the details of the plan in which the agency has appointed itself regulator of the internet like any other public utility.

A concern is that if companies are not able to control costs by overcharging the likes of Netflix, the costs will be passed onto consumers and the price of internet packages may go up.

Futures suggest that the S&P 500 will open 2 points lower at 2,108 with the Dow Jones expected to open 13 points lower at 18,201 and the NASDAQ 100 8 points lower at 4,454.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
27-Feb-15 [10:09am] The trading week appears to be ending with a whimper rather than a bang as FTSE corporate releases fail to inject much enthusiasm into traders.

After the events from earlier in the week, Friday does feel like a little bit of an anti-climax.

This morning's European inflation figures are unlikely to tell us anything that markets haven't been factoring in for some time.

Arguably the biggest stumbling block to Greece receiving funding for the next four months will be today's vote in the German parliament, but considering almost all of the compromises have been made by the Greeks, this looks likely to be approved.

Lloyds Banking Group has confirmed full-year profits of £1.8 billion which has enabled the company to once again resume paying dividends to its shareholders.

The UK taxpayer continues to trim their position in the company, now down to 23.9% following last week's sale of £500 million of shares, helping to improve the attractiveness of the bank to institutional investors.

International Consolidated Airlines has upgraded its profits forecast for the year by 20% as it has posted 2014 full-year profits up by 81%, helped by falling costs and ineptitude from European competitors.

The Irish government's reluctance to sign off on the group's takeover of Aer Lingus looks to be just one of the issues that will need to be resolved in order for Willie Walsh to get his hands back on his old stomping ground.

Although the UK housing market might have lost some of its momentum from previous years, Rightmove continues to make all the right moves as it has today posted a 20% increase in profits.

Both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 continue to bubble around all-time high levels but are slightly lacking the conviction required to break even higher.

Today's offering of economic data might be the catalyst the markets have been looking for with US preliminary GDP, Chicago PMI, pending home sales and University of Michigan sentiment figures all due to be released.

There will also be speeches from FOMC members William Dudley and Stanley Fischer.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start just 2 points lower at 18,207.

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.

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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 - 24 Feb 2015

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 24 Feb 2015 17 Feb 2015 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 2.1:1 21,046 24,737 -3,691 116,331 101
S&P 500 Index 1.2:1 1,908 3,964 -2,056 151,768 8,133
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2.4:1 12,060 11,553 507 86,451 2,484
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 6.7:1 47,784 49,511 -1,727 120,512 5,015

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 02-Mar-15

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