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Goldman, Citi Beat Estimates as Trading Buoys Wall Street

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. both reported fourth-quarter profit that surpassed analysts’ estimates as a bond-trading revival spurred by Donald Trump’s surprise victory lifted earnings across Wall Street.

The two firms were the last of the major U.S. banks to report results, with JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. all posting gains as investors placed bets on the direction of interest rates and the economy after the November U.S. election. Citigroup’s profit rose 7.1 percent on a 36 percent jump in fixed-income revenue, while earnings at New York-based Goldman Sachs more than tripled, with bond trading up 78 percent.

Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein have been cutting costs and restructuring management to adjust to stricter capital requirements and a revenue downturn since the financial crisis. Goldman Sachs’s 2016 revenue was the lowest in five years, though investors and analysts are speculating the firm’s trading operations could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Trump’s policies.

“The benefits from higher interest rates, accelerating capital deployment and historically low credit costs have been evident throughout the large-cap U.S. bank earnings releases,” Marty Mosby, an analyst at Vining-Sparks IBG, said in a note. “The fundamental story remains intact.”

Goldman Sachs was the biggest gainer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average since the Nov. 8 election, surging 30 percent through Tuesday, and the KBW Bank Index of 24 U.S. lenders advanced 20 percent. Goldman Sachs fell 0.5 percent to $234.53 at 11:20 a.m. in New York, while Citigroup dropped 1.4 percent to $57.55.

Fourth-quarter net income at Goldman Sachs rose to $2.35 billion from $765 million a year earlier. Earnings at New York-based Citigroup climbed to $3.57 billion from $3.34 billion.

Citigroup’s revenue from handling bonds, currencies and commodities was $3.01 billion in the quarter, excluding an accounting adjustment from that period. That was the highest since before the financial crisis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and better than the $2.83 billion estimated by analysts. Goldman Sachs’s fixed-income revenue climbed to $2 billion, exceeding the $1.59 billion estimate.

Citigroup Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said on a conference call that “good client activity” continued into the first weeks of January.

In equity trading, Citigroup’s revenue rose 15 percent to $694 million, while Goldman Sachs’s fell 9.2 percent to $1.59 billion.