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Morgan Stanley executives pour money into stock

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Top Morgan Stanley officials purchased thousands of shares this week as the U.S. investment bank's stock price fell to new two-year lows, according to regulatory filings.

Chief Executive James Gorman bought $2.06 million of the bank's stock and Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat bought $512,500 worth on Thursday, the executives said in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday and Friday.

Paul Taubman, a co-head of institutional securities, bought $1.02 million of shares, according to a separate filing on Friday. Hutham Olayan, a director since 2006, also bought $100,000 worth on Friday.

The purchases came as Morgan Stanley shares slumped to a new two-year low of $19.28 on Friday morning, down over 2 percent from the previous day's close.

Outside investors often view executive stock purchases as a bullish sign, on the theory that insiders have better information about a stock's true value.

Gorman bought 100,000 shares at an average price of $20.62 per share, while Porat bought 25,000 shares at $20.50. Taubman paid an average price of $20.38 for 50,000 shares. Olayan bought 5,000 shares for $20 apiece.

Morgan Stanley's shares closed on Thursday at $19.70, their lowest level since March 9, 2009, when they closed at $16.48. The U.S. stock market reached its post-crisis nadir on that day.

(Reporting by Dan Wilchins; additional reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra; editing by John Wallace and Gerald E. McCormick)

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