Trading, stock underwriting propel Goldman to record profit

Once again, the trading desk at Goldman Sachs (GS) helped the firm post profits that handily outpaced most analysts' expectations.

On Tuesday, Goldman posted a second-quarter earnings of $3.44 billion, or $4.93 a share. That's compared to the $3.65 a share forecast by analysts. And not only did it eclipse the $2.05 billion profit it reported in the same period a year ago, but it surpassed its previous record of $3.22 billion logged two years ago.