Shares of Morgan Stanley continued their strong start to the year as U.S. financial stocks reversed the previous session's losses and moved to the upside in morning trade Tuesday.

Morgan Stanley was up 7.4% at last check and the stock has risen 18% so far in 2009, according to FactSet. The stock was threatening to break through $20 a share for the first time since October and was recently trading at $18.93.

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