Morgan Stanley (MS)  said first-quarter profit surged 38% as price swings returned to global markets following an unusually calm 2017, reviving client activity and boosting stock-trading revenue.

Net income rose to $2.67 billion from $1.84 billion a year earlier, according to a statement Wednesday from the New York-based bank. Earnings per share climbed to $1.45, beating the $1.26 average estimate of analysts in a survey by database provider FactSet.

Stock-trading revenue increased by 27% from a year earlier to $2.56 billion, Morgan Stanley said. Revenue from fixed-income trading was $1.87 billion, up 9%.

The result compared with a 26% gain reported Tuesday by Morgan Stanley's main Wall Street rival, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) .

"Each of our businesses performed well, with significant client engagement across our global franchise, and sales and trading a particular highlight in a more active environment," CEO James Gorman said in the statement. 

Morgan Stanley joins Goldman and other Wall Street rivals including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)  in reporting higher profit due to a resurgence in stock-market volatility in recent months as traders speculated over the pace of Federal Reserve interest-rate increases, U.S. trade tensions with China and the data-privacy scandal at Facebook Inc. (FB) .

The CBOE Volatility Index, a key gauge of market volatility known as the "VIX," was 43% higher on average during the first quarter when compared with a year earlier.

JPMorgan's first-quarter profit rose by 35% from a year earlier, while Bank of America Corp.'s  (BAC)  climbed 30%. Citigroup Inc. (C)  posted a 13% increase.

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Facebook and Citigroup are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

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