The fourth quarter of 2006 closed a record-breaking year for the U.S. securities industry, according to a report from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). According SIFMA, full-year profits of $33.1 billion were 88.2% above the $17.6 billion earned in 2005 and 4.7% above the previous record of $31.6 billion in 2000. Fourth quarter 2006 pre-tax profits of $10.8 billion were 54.9% above the preceding quarter and 156.8% above profits in 2005′s fourth quarter.
Performance in 2006 was led by exceptionally strong trading gains, which increased to $12.1 billion in 2006′s fourth quarter, up 106.4% from $5.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005. Furthermore, underwriting revenue was strong, reaching a record $23.6 billion, an increase of 18.2% for the year.