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
31-Oct-14 [10:39am] In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 76 points, at 6539, as the BoJ treats the markets on Halloween to a boost in its stimulus package.

In London, equities surged higher on the open after a surprise expansion in the stimulus package from the Bank of Japan.

The Japanese central bank has taken the QE baton from the Fed and equity traders couldn't be happier.

The ECB's ABS purchasing scheme will kick off next month and if that isn't enough to stimulate the struggling Eurozone economy, Ewald Nowotny of the ECB stated that full-blown QE should not be ruled out.

Traders have taken note of the ace up the ECB's sleeve.

Shares in the troubled lender RBS have rocketed this morning after it revealed a third consecutive quarterly profit.

The bank's core capital ratio is improving, which will bode well for the rigorous BoE stress test on the horizon.

The Scottish bank is standing by its Celtic cousin, Ulster bank, after a sharp improvement in Irish property prices in the past year has pushed the Dublin-headquartered bank into profit.

Direct line is motoring along after the insurance company announced a 5% decline in quarterly premium sales.

The growth in the commercial sector helped soften the blow from the decelerating motor business.

Meanwhile, it's up, up and away for British Airways owner IAG as third-quarter profits soar and the full-year guidance ascends.

The next destination for the airline could be dividend–island.

In the US, we are expecting the Dow to open 190 points higher at 17,385.

US index futures are currently at an all-time high thanks to the Land of the Rising Sun raising its stimulus package.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
31-Oct-14 [10:33am]

Surprise Bank of Japan Stimulus Sees the Nikkei Soar and the Yen Plummet

The Japanese Nikkei 225 has skyrocketed 5% to its highest level since 2007, with USD/JPY also jumping to ¥111.18 - a high since January 2008, after the BoJ extended its stimulus programme.

The Dow Jones was boosted by strong US GDP data and positive corporate results from Visa, which accounted for 140 points of yesterday's rally.

Update by David Papier, Sales Trader, ETX Capital
31-Oct-14 [10:26am] In quite a spooky Halloween coincidence, the Bank of Japan have decided to increase their quantitative easing program within 48 hours of the US Federal Reserve winding down theirs; sending global stock markets flying.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was already surging back towards new highs yesterday, thanks to a 10% rally in shares of Visa, and now looks set to jump triple digits and break old highs on the open thanks to the unexpected juicing of world equities from the Bank of Japan.

The BoJ decided in their latest policy meeting to expand the size of its quantitative easing program by 30 trillion yen to 80 trillion per year, targeting longer-dated JGBs of up to 10 years.

The bank will also triple its purchase of ETFs, giving a direct boost to the Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225.

Earnings are likely to play second fiddle to central bank policy today but nevertheless despite a few pockets of weakness the trend in earnings has been positive this season inside the US with most companies proving impervious to global difficulties so far.

After hours online tech companies LinkedIn and Groupon posted upbeat results for the quarter but guided lower for the fourth quarter but in a sign of the change in temperament in markets both companies are looking like opening higher.

Earnings are expected from oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron; the steep fall in oil prices is expected to feature heavily in the reports and investors will be keen to see how the companies have rebalanced operations accordingly.

Pharmaceutical giant AbbVie also reports for the quarter fresh after bailing out of its takeover of UK-listed Shire when the change in US tax law made the deal unviable.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open 22 points higher at 2,016 with the Dow Jones expected to open 188 points higher at 17,383 and the NASDAQ 58 points higher at 4,158.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
31-Oct-14 [8:58am] Global markets have rallied this morning as investors digest the shock decision by the Bank of Japan to expand its quantitative easing programme as economic inflation and growth weren't at the levels expected.

The board voted 5 - 4 in favour of increasing the purchase of Japanese bonds by a further ¥30 trillion to ¥80 trillion in total.

As the news was announced, global markets rallied with the Dow Jones futures smashing through record intraday highs at just above 17,400.

Bourses both here in London and in Germany also followed suit, with the FTSE 100 up 80 points whilst Germany's DAX is up 160.

On the data front, CPI Eurozone CPI figures are set to be released at 11:00am, where the figure is forecasted to be slightly higher at 0.4%.

Update by Sam Fox, Trader, Spreadex
31-Oct-14 [8:03am] Stock Market Update:

Compared to the overnight close:

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 is trading up 46.9pts (0.72%) at 6,528.0
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones is trading up 162pts (0.94%) at 17,353
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 is trading up 19.7pts (0.99%) at 2,012.6
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 is trading up 40.5pts (0.99%) at 4,141.6
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 is trading up 720pts (4.54%) at 16,570
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 is trading up 129.9pts (1.42%) at 9,272.3
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 is trading up 55.7pts (1.34%) at 4,204.8
Rising Stocks The Italy 40 is trading up 307pts (1.60%) at 19,506
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 is trading up 150pts (1.46%) at 10,423
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 is trading up 37pts (1.22%) at 3,080
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 is trading up 4.0pts (0.99%) at 408.5
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 is trading up 56.0pts (0.64%) at 8,804.3

  For more international stock markets see our Index Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
31-Oct-14 [7:45am] US indices traded higher on Thursday, led by shares in the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences, Utilities, and Healthcare Equipment & Services Sectors.

The US Initial Jobless Claims were 287k (285k expected) while Continuing Claims were 2384k (2352k estimated).

US Annualized GDP rose 3.5% QoQ (+3% expected).

The S&P 500 (1994.65) remains above both its 20 DMA (1932.35 - upward slope), and 50 DMA (1967.52 - flat slope).

European markets are expected to start on a positive note.

Update by InterTrader
31-Oct-14 [6:41am] As the saying goes, 'as one door closes, another one opens' and while we may have seen the end of the Federal Reserve's bond buying programme, and the ECB remains reluctant to step into the breach, it appears that the Bank of Japan has no such qualms.

The Japanese central bank has moved to fill the void left by its US counterpart as overnight they surprised the markets with the announcement of a fresh bout of monetary stimulus.

Concerns about slowing inflation and a sluggish economy appear to have persuaded a narrow majority of Bank of Japan members to vote to increase the annual stimulus to ¥80 trillion from ¥60-70tn in an open ended manner.

The bank also announced that it increased its purchase of Japanese Government Bonds (JBGs) by about ¥30tn and extended the duration to of its holdings to an average of 10 years.

Asian stocks, and particularly the Japanese Nikkei 225, surged overnight and the resultant rally is likely to filter through to European markets this morning as investors cheer a further bout of monetary largesse, as the stimulus jamboree continues.

Dip in German Inflation May Hurt the Eurozone Figure

Despite all the optimism surrounding the US economy, which to a certain extent yesterday's GDP numbers reinforced, there still remains an overriding concern about ongoing weakness in the European economy, even though we saw a surprise fall in German unemployment for October.

Fears of deflation grew yesterday after annualised German CPI fell back unexpectedly to 0.7% from 0.8%.

The month-on-month numbers also showed sharp declines, but this shouldn't really have been a surprise given the sharp falls in Brent oil prices in the last two months from $105 to $85 per barrel.

This is where central banks have to look at the root causes of falling prices and falling fuel prices are likely to add as a mini stimulus as more money goes into consumers' pockets.

This is likely to be a positive, not a negative for the Eurozone economy.

Yesterday German Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed that German domestic demand was at a very good level.

Well let's see if she's right because German retail sales for September should give us a good guide as to the accuracy of these claims; expectations are for a decline of 0.9%, down from a 1.5% rise in August.

Italian Unemployment Continues to Worsen

As the morning unfolds the latest unemployment data from Italy look set to underscore the problems facing the Italian economy.

Last weekend's bank stress test results spoke volumes, and the fact that these banks need to raise extra capital at a time when the economy needs investment, means that any turnaround in economic activity, let alone the unemployment rate, will take a very long time.

Italian September unemployment is expected to rise from 12.3% to 12.4%, with further rises in youth unemployment expected as well, while the broader measure of EU unemployment is expected to stay at 11.5%.

Further deteriorations here are likely to prompt additional calls for the ECB to do more at next week's ECB rate meeting, with these calls likely to grow if the latest CPI numbers drop back in the same way as yesterday's German numbers did for October.

Given that German CPI for October slipped back to 0.7%, from 0.8% yesterday the latest EU CPI number could well exhibit similar weakness when it is released later this morning, though expectations are for a rise from 0.3% to 0.4%, but that was before yesterday's weak German reading.

US Income and Spending Data

We finish the week with the latest income and spending data from September for the US and given the weaker than expected personal consumption component in yesterday's GDP number these are likely to be closely watched for evidence of any potential upward revision.

Personal spending is expected to slip back to 0.1% in September from 0.5% in August, while incomes are expected to rise 0.3%.

The spending numbers might surprise to the upside given that we saw the launch of the iPhone 6 and demand was quite high for these in the US.

The Q3 employment cost index may also be worth watching in the context of a rise in inflationary pressures, with a rise of 0.3% expected.

Chicago PMI for October is expected to come in at 60, down slightly from 60.5 in September.

Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst, CMC Markets
31-Oct-14 [5:24am] Europe is set to open on firm footing today following strong sessions in the US and Asia.

After yesterday's yo-yo trading, it seems that the bulls have shaken off their post-QE nausea and taken up the mantle again.

The pickup in Q3 US GDP yesterday certainly stopped the bears in their tracks and some surprise easing from the Bank of Japan overnight has got the bulls ready to stampede out of the gates this morning.

Just as the Fed takes away the punch bowl, the BoJ has turned up with a crate of sake.

For Europe, attention now turns to the CPI Flash Estimate where we will get another reminder of how close the union is to going over the cliff into a deflationary spiral.

Consensus forecast is for a slight uptick from 0.3% to 0.4%.

However, the recent run of bad data, particularly from Germany which is the only thing keeping Europe aloft, seems to suggest otherwise.

This month German unemployment, factory orders, industrial production, trade balance, ZEW survey, services PMI, IFO survey, and the Flash CPI have all indicated weakness.

However, with the bulls on top once more, this is one of those figures where spread traders should be able to spin it in a positive light irrespective of how it comes out.

If it's below consensus then there's added pressure on Draghi to fire up those printing presses and if it beats expectations then the bulls will chalk it up to economic improvement.

The US economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5% in the last quarter, surpassing estimates for 3.1% growth, and at the same time unemployment claims were at 14 year a low.

This shows that the post-tapering world is hanging on for now and, given that the actual reversal of QE is nowhere near in sight, all that extra cash has to go somewhere.

Investor sentiment was clearly boosted by the figures, with the Dow Jones rallying by 204 points to 17,190.

Update by Jonathan Sudaria, Market Dealer, Financial Spreads
31-Oct-14 [4:03am] Daily Stock Market Moves:

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

Rising Stocks The FTSE 100 closed up 32.4pts (0.50%) at 6,481.1
Rising Stocks The Dow Jones closed up 195pts (1.15%) at 17,191
Rising Stocks The S&P 500 closed up 14.3pts (0.72%) at 1,992.9
Rising Stocks The NASDAQ 100 closed up 19.6pts (0.48%) at 4,101.1
Rising Stocks The Nikkei 225 closed up 227pts (1.45%) at 15,850
Rising Stocks The German DAX 30 closed up 57.3pts (0.63%) at 9,142.4
Rising Stocks The French CAC 40 closed up 39.1pts (0.95%) at 4,149.1
Falling Stocks The Italy 40 closed down -10pts (-0.05%) at 19,199
Rising Stocks The Spain 35 closed up 43pts (0.42%) at 10,273
Rising Stocks The Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 23pts (0.76%) at 3,043
Rising Stocks The Holland 25 closed up 3.0pts (0.75%) at 404.5
Rising Stocks The Switzerland 20 closed up 83.8pts (0.97%) at 8,748.3

  For more global indices see our Stock Market Price Table.

  Pricing notes.

Update by Gordon Childs, Editor, CleanFinancial
30-Oct-14 [4:27pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is up six points at 6460 as the artificially high US GDP figures fooled nobody.

In London, the market has made a rapid recovery as the US growth figure isn't as impressive as initially thought.

When the 3.5% US GDP figure flashed on the screens, it was traders' worst nightmare!

Dealers feared a rate rise must be around the corner, but after closer inspection the jump in growth was largely down to Washington's spending on defence.

After nearly six years of QE from the US, traders still have the attitude that bad news is good news; old habits die hard.

RBS will update the market on its third-quarter performance tomorrow.

The bailed-out bank raised traders' hopes last month by stating loan impairments would be greatly reduced; the bank has big expectations to meet.

IG is offering a binary bet on the outcome of the next UK general election.

UKIP's rise has eaten into the chances of a conservative majority and the problems in the Scottish Labour party have now diminished the likelihood of a Labour majority.

IG's binary is now indicating a 55% of a hung parliament.

In the US, the Dow is up 134 points at 17,108 as a great result from Visa is fuelling the rally in broader index.

The credit card company contributed 126 points to the Dow's 134 point rally.

Visa must be cash rich if it can afford to hike the dividend by 20% and announce a $5 billion share buyback scheme.

The Dow Jones would be broadly unchanged if it wasn't for the Visa move, which says a lot about the market after QE3 was brought to and end.

The US stock market will have to stand on its own two feet from now as the safety net has been removed.

Shares in CME Group are trading lower after the biggest futures exchange in the world marginally missed revenue estimates despite being on track for a record month.

Update by David Madden, Market Analyst, IG Index
30-Oct-14 [2:15pm] The Dow Jones has reversed this morning's losses as the market opened this afternoon as a stronger than expected GDP report was released.

Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.5%, up from the forecasted figure of 3.1%.

US Unemployment claims were also released, rising to 287k vs 284k forecasted.

Markets are acting particularly twitchy this afternoon as investors still have the Federal Reserve's statement to digest which was released last night.

The statement stated that the Federal Reserve were to, as expected, wind down its bond-purchasing programme.

The statement also released information regarding short-term interest rates which are set to stay unchanged for a 'considerable time'.

European bourses are currently trading lower during the afternoon session with the FTSE 100 down 34 and the DAX down 88.

Bucking the trend, Wall Street is currently trading up 75 points.

Update by Sam Fox, Trader, Spreadex
30-Oct-14 [10:40am] The threat to US equities from the end of extraordinary central bank stimulus was compounded yesterday by a more hawkish Federal Reserve threatening the possibility of an earlier rate hike if data warrants it.

The rebound in stocks off the lows this month had partly been built off the possibility raised by St Luis Fed President James Bullard that the end of QE could be delayed, as well as the assumption that the Fed would lean towards caution over the global economy and lower inflation.

QE did end and the caution seen in last month's minutes was replaced with confidence in the US economy and the belief that inflation was only temporary.

Stock markets look set to follow through on yesterday's losses as fear over the end of stimulus reverberates.

Whether these losses are sustained could depend on whether investors share the Fed's faith in the strength of the US economy and, for the time being at least, this could largely rest on today's first estimate for GDP growth in the third quarter.

US GDP is announced at 12:20pm (London time) and growth is expected to have slowed to 3% from 4.6% in Q2, but 3% would still be an improvement over the average for the first half of 2014.

Some strong results from Visa bode well for MasterCard, who report immediately before the open.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will open 9 points lower at 1,973, with the Dow Jones expected to open 9 points lower at 16,965 and the NASDAQ 21 points lower at 4,069.

Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst, CMC Markets
30-Oct-14 [10:23am]

US Indices Dip as Fed Ends QE and Highlights Economic Strength

The Dow and S&P 500 saw some weakness as the Fed statement turned slightly hawkish, despite retaining the 'considerable time' phrasing on the timing of interest rate rises.

The dollar has also seen a boost on the FOMC statement, with the New Zealand dollar also slumping as the RBNZ softened its stance on rates.

Update by ETX Capital
30-Oct-14 [10:05am] The greatest economic experiment in central banking history was brought to a close last night by the US Federal Reserve, complete with suitably dovish rhetoric about the future path of interest rates.

US markets staged a modest decline by the close, but finished well off their lows.

We cannot hide from the fact that such dovish commentary is in part designed to keep a degree of order over capital markets, after the uptick in volatility seen since the start of the autumn.

European markets are not impressed, although this is entirely to do with their own problems, and pressure continues to mount on the ECB to resurrect QE in a multilingual European form.

European equities are lower thanks to comments from the Chief of the European Banking Authority that the banking stress tests are not foolproof; something we all knew but were kind of hoping nobody important would draw attention too.

Cue downside auctions in peripheral banks, especially Italy.

Regional CPI data from Germany had shown further month-on-month deflation, rather taking the shine of an unexpected fall in unemployment.

We could see a tricky end to the month here with quite a lot on the agenda before the weekend, including a speech by Janet Yellen.

UK equity watchers have some big names to delve into today, with the overall market weaker by 55 points, trading around the 6400 level.

Barclays (+0.5%) is holding up well as the market lives lower.

Underlying performance is on the right track, but further fine provisions take some shine off the numbers.

Shell (-1.5%) is shrugging off what it has called the 'volatility in our industry', lower oil prices to the rest of us, with a good set of quarterly numbers.

Somewhat surprisingly BT (-3.3%) is suffering this morning, despite a dividend hike and better profits thanks to premium broadband subscriptions.

The stock has closely hugged the FTSE this year and is giving away gains recouped since the mid-month falls, moving closer to a YTD low around £3.50.

Update by Will Hedden, Sales Trader, IG Index
30-Oct-14 [8:56am] The main news this morning is in regard to yesterday evenings FOMC statement, putting the final stage of quantitative easing (QE3) to bed, whilst offering a more hawkish statement.

Consequently the 'cheap' dollars that had flooded the market are now being reduced and hence the dollar has appreciated against most major currencies.

Cable has struggled to stay above $1.60 and with last nights Fed announcements, the pound has depreciated to $1.597 this morning.

Furthermore the biggest loser was the emerging markets as the Japanese yen which saw a large decline as the dollar rallied, moving to a ¥109.145 high last night, this is a 3 week high for the dollar.

At the open the FTSE opened up but this was short lived, with housing market data out showing a slowing increase of property prices in the UK, with house price inflation down 0.4% from September, consequently not giving much cause for optimism.

Barrett Developments has taken the brunt of losses, falling 2.3%.

However, corporate earnings failed to impress a great deal, with Barclays, BT and Aviva trading pretty flat despite beating third quarter profit expectations.

Investors are remaining cautious of the recent highs and hence the FTSE has struggled to maintain the gains from yesterday, now trading at 6447 in line with its opening level.

Update by Toby Goar, Financial Trader, Spreadex

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 - 21 Oct 2014

Indices Net Non-Commercial Commitments (i) (Futures Only) Open Interest (i) Change in Open Interest (i)
Long:Short Ratio (i) 21 Oct 2014 14 Oct 2014 Weekly Change
Dow Jones Index 1.1:1 3,431 11,668 -8,237 110,537 -7,930
S&P 500 Index 1:1 -643 -314 -329 154,730 25,173
NASDAQ 100 Index (Consolidated) 2.1:1 7,965 12,851 -4,886 64,588 -15,634
Nikkei 225 Index (Yen Denom) 3.5:1 23,856 20,220 3,636 95,480 2,195

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 31-Oct-14

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