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Morgan Stanley profit drops nearly 50%

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Morgan Stanley's (MS-N) first-quarter profit dropped nearly 50 percent, hurt by a decline in fixed income trading revenue.

The investment bank and brokerage posted net income for shareholders of $736 million US, or 50 cents a share, down from $1.41 billion, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier.

Fixed income trading revenue fell across Wall Street after an unusually strong first quarter in 2010. But some banks have experienced more weakness than others. Morgan Stanley's revenue for its fixed income and commodities sales and trading unit fell by about a third.

At JPMorgan Chase & Co., revenue for fixed income, currencies, and commodities trading fell just 4 percent in the first quarter.

Morgan Stanley's overall revenue fell 16 percent to $7.64 billion.

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