While the miss wasn’t that big (Goldman earned $5.15 per share vs. expectations of $5.33), this is the mighty Goldman Sachs we’re talking about. Goldman is the master of the universe, and it isn’t supposed to miss. So this had the effect of taking some of the wind out of the market’s sails.
Goldman’s investment banking and investment management businesses actually performed just fine. It was primarily fixed income trading that disappointed, which is particularly noteworthy because this is an area where Goldman usually dominates its rivals. Goldman’s explanation — that the unusually low volatility of the first quarter reduced its clients’ need to trade — fell on deaf ears, as Wall Street wanted to know why Goldman’s rivals seemed to do just fine last quarter.
Disclosures: No current position in any stock mentioned.