JPMorgan Chase follows banking rivals to higher than expected profit

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) posted a better-than-expected profit of $2.1 billion, or 40 cents a share, in the first quarter, the biggest U.S. bank announced this morning. But it also set aside a huge chunk of money to cover future losses on loans, indicating that it isn't expecting a quick recovery for the economy.

Despite beating analysts' expectations of $1.8 billion, or 32 cents a share, in profit, JPMorgan said net income fell some 10 percent from the first quarter of last year. Not surprisingly, its credit card division was largely responsible. After booking a profit of $609 million in the first three months of 2008, it lost $547 million over the same span this year.