The combined trading and investment-banking revenues of $5.7 billion at Morgan Stanley were 20% higher year-over-year and marked the best first-half in those businesses since 2007. Furthermore, fees from merger advice, stock trading and stock-underwriting were all up double digits compared to last year. Debt trading and underwriting also increased but less dramatically.

Additionally, while trading activity may have been slightly lowered, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) also recently announced higher earnings partly due to improved fixed-income, currency and commodities trading revenue, which jumped 45% to $1.68 billion while equities trading revenue was flat at $1.89 billion, Investor’s Business Daily reports.

Investors can track these brokerages through a targeted financial ETF, the iShares US Broker-Dealers & Securities Exchanges ETF (NYSEArca: IAI), which includes exposure to investment banks, brokerages and stock exchanges that may have more to gain from trading activities. IAI includes a 10.3% tilt toward GS and 9.2% to MS, the two largest components in the ETF’s portfolio.

For more information on the financials sector, visit our financial category.