Morgan Stanley posts first profit of 2009

From JPMorgan (JPM) to Goldman Sachs (GS) to Wells Fargo (WFC), it's been a year of record earnings for some of the biggest U.S. banks and investment firms. Not so for Morgan Stanley (MS), which reported its first quarterly profit in 12 months on Wednesday.

Higher fees from underwriting stock and bond issues and real estate investments that swung to a gain played a big part in helping Morgan Stanley post net income of of $757 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with a loss of $159 million, or $1.37 a share, a year ago, the company said in a statement.