Total revenue from trading fell 2.4 per cent to $3.36bn, the lowest in five quarters.
Revenue from fixed-income securities, currencies and commodities trading rose just 1.3 per cent to $1.69bn.
"The operating environment was mixed, with client activity challenged in certain market-making businesses", Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement.
Shares of Goldman were down three per cent in premarket trading.
Goldman has historically relied more on trading than other big banks, but has been trying to shift to stable businesses such as investment management.
Earnings per share rose to $5.15 from $2.68. Analysts on average had expected earnings of $5.31 per share, according to Reuters.
Investment banking revenue, which includes M&A, debt underwriting and stock underwriting, rose 16.4 per cent to $1.7bn.
Total operating expenses rose 15.2 per cent to $5.49bn.
Morgan Stanley, Goldman's traditional rival, reports earnings on Wednesday.
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