How to trade the Dow Jones index
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) is the largest stock index by market capitalisation in the US. Here, we take you through how to get exposure to the Dow through trading.
Trading the Dow Jones
Trading the Dow Jones means that you can speculate on the price rising or falling by going long or short with financial derivatives such as CFDs. You can trade indices with these products during IG’s normal market hours from 11pm on a Sunday to 10pm on a Friday (UK time).
But, we are also one of the only providers in the world to offer weekend trading on the Dow – meaning that you can speculate when other traders cannot – either to increase your opportunity to profit, or to hedge your weekday positions.
Ways to trade the Dow Jones
When you trade the Dow Jones with CFDs, you can speculate on either cash indices or index futures.
Trading cash indices means that you will be speculating on the spot price of an index, which is its current market price. Cash indices are popular with short-term traders because they offer tight spreads – starting at just one point for the Dow Jones with IG (Wall Street). However, overnight funding charges are not included in the spreads for cash indices, so many traders will close their positions at the end of each trading day.
Trading index futures enables you to speculate on the futures price of the Dow Jones, which means that you are locking in a price today, to be traded at a future date. Trading index futures is popular with long-term traders because the overnight funding charge is included in the spread, which means that while the spreads are slightly wider, you won’t incur this additional cost at the end of each trading day.
What moves the Dow Jones index's price?
There are a number of factors which move the Dow Jones’s price, including:
Economic events such as the US-China trade war can have an effect on the Dow’s price, particularly if tariffs and other economic measures are affecting the profitability of US companies.
Strength of the US dollar
The strength of the US dollar will have an effect on the price of the Dow. A strong dollar often means that the index will rise in value, while a weaker dollar will generally mean the opposite.
News releases such as measures to combat the coronavirus, stimulus packages and central bank announcements will all move the value of the Dow.
Earnings reports of individual companies will affect the Dow, with strong earnings in large companies often causing an increase, and weak reports causing a decrease.
Value of individual companies’ shares
The value of individual companies’ shares will have an effect on the price of the Dow because it is a price-weighted index, meaning that the performance of companies with a higher share price will have a greater effect over the value of the index compared to those with lower share prices.
Dow Jones trading strategies and tips
- Determine your trading style: There are four main trading styles – scalping, day trading, swing trading and position trading. Some styles are more suited to the short term, such as scalping and day trading, and others are more suited to the long term, such as position trading
- Study charts and price action: Daily and weekly charts can help you to assess the current market sentiment, while price action can help you get a feel for what the market might do going forward
- Use technical analysis and indicators: Technical analysis and trading indicators are very useful to include as part of your trading strategy as they can help to identify certain signals and trends within the market
- Look for trading signals: By looking at the Dow price chart, you should be able to tell whether the current trend is bullish or bearish. You can confirm current trends with momentum indicators such as the stochastic oscillator or RSI
- Set trading alerts: Trading alerts enable you to set specific criteria for the Dow’s price. You’ll be notified once your criteria are met, either by email, SMS or push notification – depending on the device you’re using to trade
- Follow industry news: Whenever company news is released, it can affect the share price. Keep a close eye on any developing news stories or breaking news events which might cause individual shares to change, which could affect the value of the Dow
Publication date :
This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.
CFDs are a leveraged products. CFD trading may not be suitable for everyone and can result in losses that exceed your initial deposit, so please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved.
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