Bank results point to stronger U.S. economy

It's a revealing day for the banking industry.

Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley all released upbeat quarterly results on Thursday.

A 12 percent jump in revenues at Bank of America, the second largest U.S. bank, was better than expected. Sales from the equities division were quite strong due to robust trading activity.The lending numbers were solid across the board - providing another boost to BofA's results.Profits topped forecasts boosted by the bank’s release of over a billion dollars set aside to cover bad loans.

Citigroup saw a 48 percent surge in third-quarter profits as it benefitted from a windfall in fees ties to corporate stock sales and investment banking advice.Earnings also beat expectations thanks to the release of nearly $1.2 billion in loan-loss reserves.

Wells Fargo continued the parade of earnings.But quarterly revenues fell with the bank's lending business down for the fifth straight quarter.The bank is still coping with financial fallout from a 2016 trading scandal.It had to pay a $250 million fine in the third quarter for not moving fast enough to pay back customers hurt by the scandal.But the release of $1.7 billion stashed away to cover potential bad loans helped offset higher expenses....leading to a profit beat.

Meanwhile, dealmaking was the star over at Morgan Stanley.The investment bank raked in a record $1.27 billion in advisory fees.Morgan Stanley's results were further boosted by a surge in sales at its wealth management business.

Banking stocks were buoyed by the results, which helped lift Wall Street in early Thursday trading.

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