Morgan Stanley's first-quarter results beat expectations, as trading revenue rose sharply and the bank's wealth management business began to improve, sending its shares up in premarket trading on Thursday.

Wall Street banks have had a good first quarter as capital markets activity returned after a dismal 2011. In the past few days, rivals Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co have all said they have benefited from the rebound in capital markets.

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