Goldman Sachs ( GS) reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations on higher revenue in its investment banking division. The bank reported a first-quarter profit of $2.26 billion, or $4.29 per share, on $10.1 billion of revenue. That's up from $2.07 billion, or $3.92 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts had expected earnings of $3.88 per share. . The company's investment banking revenue rose 36% to $1.57 billion on high activity in commercial mortgages and leveraged finance. Goldman's investment bank also underwrote more stock and bond offerings. Its sale of some of its stake in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China aided revenue from investing and lending as well. CEO Lloyd Blankfein called the results "generally solid." But the bank warned that revenue could slow in the current quarter due to a lower transaction backlog.
The Census Bureau reported that housing starts jumped in March at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.036 million. That's the biggest rise since June 2008. The climb was driven by growth in apartment construction and continued strength in the housing market. Single-family housing starts were running at a 619,000 rate, according to the report. February's single-family starts were revised up to a 650,000 annual rate from 618,000.