Quick Guide to Spread Betting on the US 500 Stock Market Index

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Financial Spreads: Spread Betting and CFD Trading

Losses can exceed deposits

Where Can I Spread Bet on the US 500?

A Financial Spreads account offers investors a large range of indices CFD and financial spread betting markets like the US SPX 500 in addition to the Wall Street 30, US Tech 100 and UK 100.

Where Can I Access Live US 500 Prices?

A Financial Spreads account offers investors real-time prices on over 1,000 financial spread betting and CFD markets like the US SPX 500 and a large range of other indices, FX, equities and commodities markets.



Indicative Prices

Prices shown are delayed by 15 minutes, indicative only, and subject to our website terms and conditions.

Where Can I Get Live US 500 Charts?

When trading with FinancialSpreads you can access a professional level charting package for the US SPX 500 and over a thousand other markets.

The charting package includes a large variety of advanced functions:
Sample index trading chart:

Stock Market Index Spread Betting Charts



Financial Spread Betting on the US SPX 500

For example, let's say that you look at the Financial Spreads website and the spread betting platform is showing a price of:

  US SPX 500 Rolling Cash Sell

2092.9
Buy

2093.2


This is a brief guide to how it works:

Spread Betting Market:US SPX 500 Rolling Cash
Quote (The Spread):2092.9 - 2093.2
This Means That:You can speculate on the US SPX 500 Rolling Cash market to go:

  Spread Betting Above 2093.2, or
  Spread Betting Below 2092.9

This is a 'Rolling' trade which means that there is no final closing date. If you don't close your trade and the session ends then your trade will roll over to the next trading day.

If a trade rolls over then you will either be charged or receive interest for overnight financing depending on the direction of your bet. For further information see Rolling Spread Bets.
Traded Units:Bets on the US SPX 500 market are made in £x per 0.1 points.

Where 0.1 points is 0.1 points of the stock index's price movement.

E.g. if the US SPX 500 moves 5.0 points then you would lose/win 50 multiples of your stake.
Stake:You decide how much you are going to risk per 0.1 points, e.g. £3 per 0.1 points, £4 per 0.1 points, £10 per 0.1 points etc.
Simplified Trading Exercise:If, as an example, you chose a stake of £4 per 0.1 points and the US SPX 500 changes by 2.1 points, you would win/lose £4 per 0.1 points x 2.1 points = £84.


Worked Spread Betting Example - Going Long of the US SPX 500

Financial spread trading on the index to move up in value

You Select Whether to Buy or Sell: The US SPX 500 moving:

  Spread Betting Above 2093.2? or
  Spread Betting Below 2092.9?

Let's Say You Choose to Go Long:   Spread Betting Above 2093.2
You Choose Your Stake Size, Let's Assume You Select: £1 per 0.1 points
So Now What Happens?
  • You make a gain of £1 for each 0.1 points the US SPX 500 moves above 2093.2
  • You lose £1 for every 0.1 points the US SPX 500 decreases below 2093.2
When Buying a Spread Bet Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = (Settlement Price - Opening Price) x stake
 
Example 1
The US SPX 500 rises and the market is adjusted to 2106.0 - 2106.3:   2106.0   2106.3
Lock in a Profit? You can choose to let your position run or close it and take a profit. In this case you opt to close your trade by selling the market at 2106.0.
Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = (Settlement Price - Opening Price) x stake
(2106.0 - 2093.2) x £1 per 0.1 points
12.8 points x £1 per 0.1 points
Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = £128.00 profit
 
Example 2
The US SPX 500 moves lower and the financial spread betting market is moved to 2078.5 - 2078.8. So you would see this on Financial Spreads:   2078.5   2078.8
Time to Limit the Loss? You could choose to let your bet run or close it, i.e. close your trade to limit your losses. In this instance you opt to settle your trade and sell at 2078.5.
Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = (Settlement Price - Opening Price) x stake
(2078.5 - 2093.2) x £1 per 0.1 points
-14.7 points x £1 per 0.1 points
Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = -£147.00 loss


Trading Example - Taking a Short Position on the US SPX 500

Spread betting on the index to go down in value

You Now Choose to Go Long or Short: The US SPX 500 to move:

  Spread Betting Above 2093.2? or
  Spread Betting Below 2092.9?

You Might Choose to Sell:   Spread Betting Below 2092.9
You Choose How Much to Risk, Selecting: £2 per 0.1 points
So What Next?
  • You lose £2 for every 0.1 points the US SPX 500 increases higher than 2092.9
  • You make a gain of £2 for every 0.1 points the US SPX 500 goes lower than 2092.9
If You Are Spread Betting on a Market to Go Down Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = (Opening Price - Settlement Price) x stake
 
Example 3
The US SPX 500 slips and the spread betting market moves to 2084.9 - 2085.2, i.e. the market moves to:   2084.9   2085.2
Close for a Profit? At this point, you may opt to keep your position open or close it, i.e. close your spread bet for a profit. In this instance you choose to close your bet by buying the market at 2085.2.
Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = (Opening Price - Settlement Price) x stake
(2092.9 - 2085.2) x £2 per 0.1 points
7.7 points x £2 per 0.1 points
Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = £154.00 profit
 
Example 4
The US SPX 500 moves higher and the spread trading market adjusts and moves to 2101.4 - 2101.7, i.e.   2101.4   2101.7
Close and Restrict Your Loss?At this point, you could choose to let your bet run or close it in order to restrict your losses. In this example you decide to settle your bet and buy at 2101.7.
Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = (Opening Price - Settlement Price) x stake
(2092.9 - 2101.7) x £2 per 0.1 points
-8.8 points x £2 per 0.1 points
Your Trading Profits (or Losses) = -£176.00 loss


Spread Betting on the US Stock Market Futures

As well as the above rolling market, we also offer US stock market 'Futures' on the SPX 500, Wall Street 30 and US Tech 100.

Let's say our platform is showing a price of:

  US SPX 500 March Futures Sell

2089.3
Buy

2090.1


Here's an example of how the market works.

MarketUS SPX 500 March Futures
Spread Trading Price2089.3 - 2090.1
What This MeansNow you can speculate on the US SPX 500 futures market settling:

  Spread Betting Higher than 2090.1, or
  Spread Betting Lower than 2089.3

On the closing date for the March market, 20 March 2015. This is a Futures market so the bet will close on the expiry date, although usually you can also close your trade, during market hours, before the expiry of the contract.

Note also that there are no daily financing fees on these futures markets.
Traded UnitsFinancial spread bets on the US SPX 500 futures market are made in £x per 0.1 points.

Where 0.1 points is 0.1 points of the stock market index's price movement.

E.g. if the US SPX 500 moves by 5.0 points then you would win/lose 50 times your stake.
Stake Size per UnitYou work out how much you are going to trade per 0.1 points, e.g. £2 per 0.1 points, £5 per 0.1 points, £15 per 0.1 points etc.
Brief Staking ExampleIf, for example, your stake is £3 per 0.1 points and the US SPX 500 moves 3.3 points, you would gain or lose £3 per 0.1 points x 3.3 points = £99.


Worked Spread Betting Example - Buying US Stock Market Futures

Financial spread betting on the index to increase

You Decide to Buy or Sell The US SPX 500 futures market to close:

  Spread Betting Higher than 2090.1? or
  Spread Betting Lower than 2089.3?

When the contract expires, 20 March 2015.

You Might Choose to Buy   Spread Betting Higher than 2090.1
You Decide How Much to Risk, Choosing £2 per 0.1 points
What Happens Next?
  • You make a gain of £2 for each 0.1 points the US SPX 500 rises higher than 2090.1
  • You lose £2 for every 0.1 points the US SPX 500 goes lower than 2090.1
If You Are Spread Betting on a Market to Increase Your Profits/Losses = (Settlement Price - Opening Price) x stake
 
Trading Example 1
The US SPX 500 rises and the financial spread betting market becomes 2096.9 - 2097.7, so you'd see:   2096.9   2097.7
Time to Take Your Profit? You could decide to keep your trade open, letting it run to the settlement date, or close it, i.e. close your spread bet for a profit. In this example you decide to settle your bet and sell the market at 2096.9.
Your Profits/Losses = (Settlement Price - Opening Price) x stake
(2096.9 - 2090.1) x £2 per 0.1 points
6.8 points x £2 per 0.1 points
Your Profits/Losses = £136.00 profit
 
Trading Example 2
The US SPX 500 moves lower.
Limit Your Loss? At this point, you could choose to leave your trade open, letting it run to the settlement date, or close it and restrict your losses. In this example you opt to let your position run until the market expires. The contract finally closes at 2084.2.
Your Profits/Losses = (Settlement Price - Opening Price) x stake
(2084.2 - 2090.1) x £2 per 0.1 points
-5.9 points x £2 per 0.1 points
Your Profits/Losses = -£118.00 loss


Worked Spread Betting Example - Selling US Stock Market Futures

Online spread betting on the index to move down in value

You Now Select Whether to Go Long or Short The US SPX 500 to settle:

  Spread Betting Higher than 2090.1? or
  Spread Betting Lower than 2089.3?

When the contract is settled (expires), 20 March 2015.

You Might Decide to Go Short   Spread Betting Lower than 2089.3
You Choose Your Stake Size, Let's Say You Opt For £3 per 0.1 points
What Now?
  • You lose £3 for every 0.1 points the US SPX 500 increases above 2089.3
  • You make a gain of £3 for every 0.1 points the US SPX 500 pushes below 2089.3
When Spread Betting on a Market to Go Down Your Profits/Losses = (Opening Price - Settlement Price) x stake
 
Trading Example 3
The US SPX 500 futures market falls
Lock in a Profit? You may opt to keep your position open, and possibly let it run to the settlement date, or close it, i.e. close your position to lock in a profit. In this example, you run it until expiry. The contract closes at 2084.2.
Your Profits/Losses = (Opening Price - Settlement Price) x stake
(2089.3 - 2084.2) x £3 per 0.1 points
5.1 points x £3 per 0.1 points
Your Profits/Losses = £153.00 profit
 
Trading Example 4
The US SPX 500 climbs and the market is revised and set at 2092.9 - 2093.7. Therefore you would see:   2092.9   2093.7
Restrict the Loss?At this point, you can choose to keep your position open and let it run to the expiry date or close it, i.e. close your position and limit your losses. For this example, you choose to close your position by buying the market at 2093.7.
Your Profits/Losses = (Opening Price - Settlement Price) x stake
(2089.3 - 2093.7) x £3 per 0.1 points
-4.4 points x £3 per 0.1 points
Your Profits/Losses = -£132.00 loss

Where Can I Practice Financial Spread Betting on the US 500?

FinancialSpreads offers investors the option of testing new strategies by using a Demo Account on CFD and spread trading markets like the US SPX 500.

The Practice Account has more than the above market; traders are also able to get trading experience across a wide selection of commodities, FX rates, indices and stocks.

Open a CFDs / Spread Betting Demo Account


S&P 500 Index Commitments of Traders Report - 28 Nov 2017


Futures Only Positions, CME , Code 138741, (S&P 500 Index x $250)

Reporting Firms Non-Reportable Positions
Non-Commercial
Commercial Total Reportable
 
Commitments Open Interest Commitments
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short Long Short
9,160 8,868 1,271 45,613 39,940 56,044 50,079 78,758 22,714 28,679
 
Changes from 21 Nov 2017 Change in Open Interest Changes from
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short Long Short
2,755 133 671 318 3,992 3,744 4,796 5,727 1,983 931
 
Percent of Open Interest for Each Category of Trader
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short   Long Short
11.6% 11.3% 1.6% 57.9% 50.7% 71.2% 63.6%   28.8% 36.4%
 
Number of Traders in Each Category Total Traders  
Long Short Spreads Long Short Long Short    
8 8 1 18 21 26 30 50    
 
Long/Short Commitments Ratios   Long/Short Ratio
Ratio   Ratio Ratio   Ratio
1:1   1.1:1 1.1:1   1:1.3
 
Net Commitment Change  
2,622  


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