Morgan Stanley is back in profit after three consecutive quarterly losses, with net income of $US757 million in the July -September period.
Underwriting revenues for its investment banking division were up 74% from 2008 levels.
At the same time, the country's fourth-largest bank, Wells Fargo, reported a record $US3.2 billion profit for the quarter.
Wells Fargo, which bought Wachovia last year, said revenues from mortgages and consumer credit had surged.
Morgan Stanley announced its results two days after agreeing to sell its retail asset management business to Invesco in a deal worth $US1.5 billion.
The BBC reports the sale of the division will allow it to focus more on its institutional clients.
Morgan Stanley's third-quarter profit followed a loss of $US159 million between April - June.