Goldman Sachs Starts Reporting of First Quarter Results on a Positive Note

Goldman Sachs was set to release its first quarter earnings on Tuesday, but apparently the news was too good not to share and the New York-based investment giant announced on Monday that it earned a $1.81 billion profit for the quarter ending 31 March. This was an impressive recovery for the company after having reported a loss for the last quarter of 2008 – its first since it was listed as a public company in 1999.

Goldman shares continued on an upward trend on Monday, gaining around 4.7 percent for the day and clocking up an increase of around 70 percent for the month. Goldman Sachs is also planning the sale of stock to the value of $5 billion and has reportedly made it known that it plans to be the first financial institution to repay the $10 billion loan it received last year under the U.S. government’s Troubled Asst Relief Program (TARP). Treasury and Federal Reserve regulators are currently conducting a so called “stress test” on key banking companies and, based on the results as well as other criteria, regulators will be called upon to approve the repayment of the TARP money before this can take place. Other key financial firms due to release first quarter results this week include JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, with the latter having revealed that its first quarter earnings are set to surpass expectations.

While financial firms appear to be offering a glimmer of hope to investors, this may very well be snuffed out by growing concern and speculation that General Motors could file for bankruptcy. The news that the troubled vehicle manufacturer will be recalling more than 1.5 million cars due to a design defect has fueled fears that bankruptcy rumors may very well become reality.

It is anticipated that first quarter earnings from other stock market sectors are likely to be dismal, with Boeing already revealing that its first quarter profit would be adversely affected by its cut in output of wide-body airplanes and reduced airplane prices. Key companies in other industries that will be reporting this week include Johnson & Johnson, General Electric and Intel Corp., with reports on housing, inflation and manufacturing being released during the week.