NEW YORK — Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wall Street's nimble giant, said on Thursday third-quarter earnings soared, as the investment bank cashed in on trading gains and investments with the company's own money.

The investment bank, considered to be the most profitable in Wall Street history, also made plans to reward its employees well. It set aside $5.35 billion for benefits and compensation during the quarter, putting bonuses on track to set a record this year.

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