JPMorgan Chase profit soars on market rally

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NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase has extended the winning streak for big U.S. banks.

The banking giant says Friday it earned $3.28 billion during the final three months of 2009, primarily because its investment banking and trading businesses were still profiting from a 10-month market rally. The company again added to its reserves for failed loans during the quarter, but its other businesses enabled it to more than overcome the continuing weakness in lending.

The market rally also allowed JPMorgan to give big bonuses to its employees. Compensation costs, which include salaries, bonuses and benefits rose 18 percent in 2009, although the company cut its work force by 1 percent during the year.

JPMorgan Chase earned 74 cents per share, easily topping analysts expectations of 61 cents. Total revenue fell below expectations, however, and the company’s stock fell in pre-opening trading.