* JPMorgan up after higher-than-expected profit
* China march exports above estimates
* U.S. retail sales fall unexpectedly in March
* Indexes up: Dow 0.70 pct, S&P 0.66 pct, Nasdaq 1.14 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
April 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street gained on Wednesday as JPMorgan’s results kicked off bank earnings on an upbeat note and strong Chinese trade data raised hopes that the country’s economy was on the mend.
Shares of JPMorgan were up 3.5 percent at $61.33 after the bank reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue.
The results boosted the S&P financial sector, which was the biggest gainer among the 10 major S&P sectors. Bank of America rose 3.5 percent and Citigroup 4.5 percent.
Adding to the positive sentiment, data showed China’s March exports handily beat expectations, rising for the first time in nine months. Global markets rallied following the data.
However, U.S. retail sales and producer prices unexpectedly fell in March, more evidence that economic growth stumbled in the first quarter.
Crude, which has influenced stocks for most of the year, pared losses on Wednesday after data showed a larger than expected draw in U.S. gasoline inventories. Oil has gained more than 6 percent in the last two days.
“The recovery in oil has given the market a little bit of a positive tone this week and today we have a case of both JPMorgan and China’s trade data beating down expectations,” said John Brady, managing director at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago.
At 11:23 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 123.44 points, or 0.7 percent, at 17,844.69, the S&P 500 was up 13.52 points, or 0.66 percent, at 2,075.24 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 55.64 points, or 1.14 percent, at 4,927.74.
JPMorgan gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500, while Goldman Sachs’ 2.9 percent increase propped up the Dow.
Harley-Davidson rose 3.4 percent to $46.45 after UBS said it expected the company’s March retail sales to beat analysts’ estimates.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,119 to 805. On the Nasdaq, 2,059 issues rose and 622 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 18 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 30 new highs and 7 lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)