Stocks & Shares Charts Online

Shares Market Widget - shows top 8 gaining, losing and active shares for the day. Hotlists are updated real-time based on current market activity, so they always show the most relevant shares.

Trade Popular Shares

Trade shares CFDs such as Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet. Take advantage of falling or rising markets by opening Sell or Buy positions. View all shares >.

Trade Shares with Leverage

Flexible trading in share CFDs. Leverage of up to 1:300 leverage allows you to start trading with as little as 100$ to gain the effect of 30 000$ capital!

Control your Profits and Losses

Predefine Stops and Limits on the Plus500 platform to limit your losses and lock in profits. To avoid slippage, try our Guaranteed Stop feature. Read more >.

Learn More About Trading

What are Shares?

Stocks are the shares into which ownership of the company is divided. Those who own stocks are called stockholders or shareholders. The ownership of shares entitles stockholders to a fraction of the company's assets and earnings (proportional to the number of shares owned). Stocks are usually traded in stock markets.

Companies go public and issue stocks in order to raise money to invest in their business and help it grow. Investors, on the other hand, buy stocks to try to make money and diversify their investments. Stock prices fluctuate, making the value of the company either increase or decrease.

Share trading involves buying and selling shares and other securities through a stock exchange or over the counter (OTC), in return for a fee or commission.

In order to trade shares, individual investors usually turn to brokers (nowadays it’s often an online broker), who execute the trades on their behalf.

Stock CFDs, as opposed to regular stocks, do not give you ownership of shares. Instead, they are a way of speculating on the future direction of the underlying share price. Contracts for difference allow you to settle for the price difference between the open and close rates. Therefore, CFD traders are neither entitled to ownership or voting rights.

Both contracts for difference and share trading offer ways to take advantage of price movements in financial markets, and both can form part of your portfolio.

Stock Markets

Stocks are usually traded in stock exchanges, which provide a marketplace for buying and selling stocks. Stock exchanges track the supply and demand for the stocks of every corporation, from which the price of the particular shares are derived. These are the largest stock exchanges and their market capitalisation as of May 2019:

  • New York Stock Exchange - 23.21 trillion U.S. dollars.
  • NASDAQ Stock Exchange - 11.22 trillion U.S. dollars.
  • Tokyo Stock Exchange - 5.61 trillion U.S. dollars.
  • Shanghai Stock Exchange - 5.01 trillion U.S. dollars.
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange - 4.31 trillion U.S. dollars.
  • Euronext - 4.27 trillion U.S. dollars.
  • London Stock Exchange - 3.97 trillion U.S. dollars.
  • Shenzhen Stock Exchange - 3.36 trillion U.S. dollars.
  • Toronto Stock Exchange - 2.22 trillion U.S. dollars.
  • Bombay Stock Exchange - 2.18 trillion U.S. dollars.

Trading Shares with CFDs

There are numerous ways to gain exposure to the share market. These include Cash Equities and Derivatives, including CFDs. Over the past decade, trading Contracts for Difference (CFDs) has become increasingly popular. Trading stock CFDs allows customers to gain exposure to the price movement of different stocks without the ownership of the underlying asset. CFDs are by definition contracts between two parties (i.e. the provider and you) to pay the difference between the entry and exit price. It is classified as a financial derivative instrument as its price is derived from the price of the underlying asset.

CFDs have opened the world of trading to the masses due to its ease of access and lower costs. This has both brought a wave of interest to the stock markets. Thus, giving trading and the stock market a greater focus.

When trading CFDs, it is crucial to use a reputable and regulated provider, such as Plus500. This ensures pricing and transactions transparency, as well as various client money protection measures. In addition, regulated providers should disclose the risks involved and are not allowed to trick traders with get-rich-quick schemes.

Trading Stocks vs. Trading Stocks CFDs

With CFDs you trade with leverage. This means you can gain greater exposure to the underlying asset with less capital. Your total exposure compared to your margin is referred to as the leverage ratio. However, whereas your initial investment is lower, your total profits and losses are calculated at full position value. Therefore, leverage also implies greater risks and losses.

  • CFD traders do not own the underlying asset over which the CFD is based, as opposed to buying shares. When holding shares, you generally have additional rights, such as voting rights and dividends.

  • CFDs provide you with the opportunity to profit in both rising and falling markets - you can open a Buy position if you think the price will go up, and a Sell position if you expect the price to decrease.

  • When you trade CFDs, you can easily access shares from several markets all over the world, as well as other instruments from the same account. This can make it easier to diversify your portfolio.

  • With CFDs, you can place orders to either open or close positions at the rates you choose.

  • When CFD positions are left open overnight, an overnight fee is charged. This makes CFD trading less suitable for long term positions.

  • Opening a CFD trading account is usually faster than opening a traditional brokerage account.

  • CFD trading is generally used for shorter term trading during events such as earnings announcements. Share trading is most often used for building portfolios.

  • Since CFDs reflect the underlying market, shares in the stock market and CFDs are traded much in the same way. The price a CFD provider would be willing to buy or sell a CFD at is derived from the price the stock is traded on the relevant exchange and in terms of notional value, one share is equivalent to one share CFD.

CFD Trading Example

Let’s take a look at a share CFD trading example with Plus500:

The price of one Facebook share is $50 and you want to enter into a CFD contract of 15 shares. 15 shares x $50 per share equals $750. With leveraged trading, you do not need to invest the full $750. With a leverage of 1:5, your initial margin requirement for this particular share CFD is 20%. You will have to deposit $150 which is 20% of the notional exposure of $750. You need to make sure to have enough money in your account to open and maintain your position.

If you think Facebook’s price will rise, you open a Buy position, and if you think it will fall, then you open a Sell position. You can choose to set stops to close your position automatically at a predetermined price. When you, or the stops added by you, close your position, the profit or loss will be added or subtracted from your account balance. If your position remains open after market close, you will be charged an overnight funding fee.

From the same account you can also choose to trade shares listed in many different markets, such as Nintendo, BP or Adidas without any extra requirements.