Not a Happy New Year: Morgan Stanley Announces Job Cuts Across the Board in Q1

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), so far the only major Wall Street bank not to have announced major job cuts, today announced that about 1600 employees, across all levels and locations, would be let go in the first quarter.

Compared to other major banks (NYSEARCA:KBE), Morgan Stanley had restricted its firings to a few hundred financial advisers earlier in 2011. The new cuts, however, extend to the banking and trading areas, and represent about 2% of the employee strength as of Sept. 30.

The bank announced this week that it was taking a $1.2 billion charge following its settlement with MBIA Inc., a bond insurer. This apart, the bank is seeing shrinking volumes in trading and deal-making due to the ongoing European crisis and volatile markets. Analysts estimate that Morgan Stanley will report a loss for the fourth quarter.

Morgan Stanley joins other top banks in the employee slashing: Citigroup (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), Barclay’s (NYSE:BCS).

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Here’s how shares of Morgan Stanley are trading on the news:

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): MS shares recently traded at $15.16, up $0.1, or 0.66%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $11.58 to $31.04. Volume today was 8,797,208 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 38,204,800 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 9.94, while trailing earnings are $1.53 per share. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>