Morgan Stanley swings to loss, badly misses expectations

A series of surprisingly strong first-quarter earnings announcements from banks have helped sustain the stock market rally over the past few weeks. But Morgan Stanley (MS) won't be joining the parade, as it reported a loss of $177 million, or 57 cents a share, wider than analysts anticipated.

During the first quarter of last year, Morgan Stanley posted a profit of $1.4 billion, or $1.26 a share.

Although analysts expected Morgan Stanley to post a modest loss of eight cents a share, investors likely had their eyes on better results after the company's chief rivals -- including Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC) -- all beat consensus estimates.