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Morgan Stanley, Apple Report Jump in Profits

Earnings soar following recession bailout and consumer demand for iPhones

Another big American financial firm is reporting a substantial rise in profits.

Morgan Stanley said Wednesday that it earned $1.4 billion for the first three months of 2010, compared to a loss of $578 million for the same period last year. The financial giant said the jump was the result of profits in stock trading and other investments.

Morgan Stanley got $10 billion in emergency aid from the U.S. government to survive the financial crisis, but paid the loan back last year.

Also Wednesday, U.S.-based technology giant Apple reported a 90-percent jump in quarterly profits thanks to strong sales of the company's popular mobile phone. Apple said iPhone sales were especially strong in the Asia Pacific region, where sales soared 474 percent compared to the same time last year.

Apple also said it was surprised by strong sales of its new tablet computer, known as the iPad.

Several other major financial firms have reported profits in recent days, including Goldman Sachs, which said its first-quarter profits nearly doubled compared to last year. Last week, U.S. financial regulators charged Goldman Sachs with fraud in a case that allegedly cost investors more than $1 billion.

Not all earnings reports released Wednesday brought good news. U.S.-based aviation giant Boeing said its first-quarter profit fell compared to the same time last year.

The plane-maker said it earned $519 million for the three-month period, after it delivered fewer aircraft to customers and paid more in health care costs.

Boeing is trying to win a $35-billion contract to build aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. On Tuesday, its main European-based rival, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company told the Pentagon it will also compete for the contract.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.