World stocks hit a nine-month low on Friday but oil and southern European bonds were off their week's worst levels, as investors began to dust themselves off after one of the most volatile spells in world markets in years. Bourses in London (.FTSE), Frankfurt (.GDAXI) and Paris (.FCHI) started the day up 1 to 1.5 percent and Athens (.ATG) rose 4.5 percent as Greek governments bonds steadied after their worst run since the height of the euro crisis in mid-2012. The possible return to recession in the euro zone, a floundering economy in Japan, slowdown in China and the Ebola virus outbreak have conspired to rattle investors already fretting about the end of years of U.S. It has been a fourth straight week of stock market falls in the U.S.
Top Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) executives are determined to keep compensation costs under control. On Thursday, Goldman reported a 25 percent increase in quarterly revenue, but the money it set aside for compensation and benefits rose only 18 percent from the same period a year earlier. The amount of money it has set aside for compensation is more or less unchanged, as is the average compensation per employee, at around $320,000 for the first nine months of the year. Sources familiar with the matter inside Goldman Sachs described the restraint as a sign of the shifting mentality about bonuses at the bank: it wants to tightly control compensation, even if it has good quarters with big revenue gains.
Google Inc's revenue fell short of Wall Street's expectations as growth in Internet advertising slowed in the most-recent quarter, offsetting a modest improvement in ad pricing, sending its shares down about 3 percent. Shares of Google fell 2.7 percent to $510.11 in extended trading on Thursday. Google posted $16.52 billion in revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to $13.75 billion in the year ago period. On Thursday, Google announced it had appointed Omid Kordestani its new chief business officer, replacing Nikesh Arora, who had departed a quarter ago to join Japan's Softbank Corp. The chief business officer is considered a key position, overseeing all the company's revenue-generating activities and serving as a liaison to investors and Wall Street.