Colin Barr

Following the money in banking, economics, and Washington

Goldman 66, the market 2

November 9, 2010: 10:07 AM ET

Goldman Sachs' trading desk wasn't quite perfect in the third quarter, but it was close.

The firm made money trading in 66 of the 68 days in the quarter, Goldman (GS) said Tuesday in its quarterly report filed with regulators.

Not a blowout by any means

That's not as good as the first quarter, in which Goldman (and others) ran the table, notching trading profits on every one of the period's 63 days. Goldman lost money on 10 days in the second quarter, as the market turned volatile with the European debt crisis.

Even so, Goldman was hardly doing cartwheels over the third quarter's trading results. The firm posted a 40% profit decline in the quarter ended Sept. 30, as trading revenue slid 36% from a year earlier. Wall Street's fixed income and stock trading businesses were hammered as investors seemingly lost interest in the market, if you can imagine.

"It wasn't like it was a blowout quarter in any way, shape or form in any business," Goldman financial chief David Viniar said last month on a conference call.

That said, the firm's trading record this year is 184-12, which means it has registered positive daily trading revenue on 94% of days. That's up from 93% last year.

Update: JPMorgan Chase (JPM) notes in its quarterly filing that it has had just eight losing trading days all year, all of them in the second quarter. Bank of America (BAC) said last week it had similarly made it happen in the third quarter: "During the three months ended September 30, 2010, positive trading-related revenue was recorded for 100 percent of the trading days of which 89 percent were daily trading gains of over $25 million."

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About This Author
Colin Barr
Colin Barr
Senior Writer, Fortune

Colin Barr has covered finance for Fortune.com since November 2007. Previously he was a writer and editor for TheStreet.com, winning a 2006 Society of American Business Editors and Writers award for "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street," and for Dow Jones Newswires. He is a 1991 graduate of Penn State and lives in Port Washington, N.Y., with his wife Meena Bose and their two kids.

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