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(Reuters) - Bank of America reported a fourth-quarter profit of $1.58 billion, or 15 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of 16 cents a share.
Morgan Stanley reported a fourth-quarter loss of $275 million, or 15 cents a share, stemming from a $1.7 billion legal settlement, compared with a year-earlier gain of 41 cents a share.
Below are comments from investors, wealth managers and economists.
ADAM SARHAN, Chief Executive, Sarhan Capital, New York: "With Bank of America, everyone was expecting them to miss, and badly. did they see genuine earnings growth or was it because of firesales. Is the growth sustainable?
Morgan Stanley's loss, in line with JPMorgan and Goldman, is indicative of how revenue of investment banking has been down."
PETER CARDILLO, chief market economist, Rockwell Global Capital, New York: "Bank of America came in 'in line' and Morgan Stanley at a loss but better than expectations. The better-than-expected earnings overall and good economic data have been trumping bad news out of Europe. Overall, this will have a positive impact on the market."
DEREK PILECKI, Gator Capital Management, Tampa: "BofA looks like it's making good progress on the capital build-up. It's a work in progress with expense cuts continuing. They have to issue stock to make capital targets, but the dilution isn't overwhelming. "
Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica, Angela Moon and Jed Horowitz