* JPMorgan up after higher-than-expected profit
* China exports rise more than expected in March
* U.S. retail sales fall unexpectedly in March
* Indexes up: Dow 0.75 pct, S&P 0.67 pct, Nasdaq 0.83 pct (Updates to open)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
April 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street was higher on Wednesday as bank earnings kicked off on an upbeat note, with JPMorgan topping profit estimates, and China’s strong trade data raised hopes that the world’s second largest economy was on the road to recovery.
Shares of JPMorgan, which kicked off Wall Street bank earnings, were up 3.1 percent at $61.13. Other bank stocks were also trading up, with Bank of America rising 2.8 percent and Citigroup gaining 3 percent.
The results added to upbeat Chinese data, which showed March exports handily beat expectations, rising for the first time in nine months.
Global markets logged strong gains following the data.
However, a report on Wednesday showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.3 percent in March, missing the estimated 0.1 percent rise, more evidence that economic growth stumbled in the first quarter.
“I think all of these factors could cause a very volatile session today, with an upward bias,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
At 9:37 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 132.91 points, or 0.75 percent, at 17,854.16, the S&P 500 was up 13.9 points, or 0.67 percent, at 2,075.62 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 40.40 points, or 0.83 percent, at 4,912.50.
The S&P financials sector led the rise in seven of the 10 major S&P sectors, rising 1.65 percent.
JPMorgan gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500, while Goldman Sachs’ 2.7 percent increase propped up the Dow.
Crude fell about 1 percent on Wednesday, reversing course from a strong rally on Tuesday, on fears that a potential freeze in production may do little to curb a global glut.
Harley-Davidson rose 4.9 percent to $47.07 after UBS said it expected the company’s March retail sales to beat analysts’ estimates.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,084 to 602. On the Nasdaq, 1,775 issues rose and 479 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 14 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 14 new highs and three lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)