Stocks to Watch: JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, J.C. Penney

NEW YORK -- JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) is expected by Wall Street on Friday to post first-quarter earnings of $1.38 a share on revenue of $25.97 billion.

The bank reported earnings of $1.31 a share a year earlier.

JPMorgan, the biggest bank by assets, has beaten analysts' earnings expectations 11 times in the last 12 quarters.

Earnings From 'Too Big to Fail' Banks Key Rally

Wells Fargo ( WFC), which is No. 4 in assets, is expected by analysts on Friday to report first-quarter profit of 88 cents a share.

The bank earned 75 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter.

Profits have risen the last three quarters at Wells Fargo, including a gain of 24% in the fourth quarter.

The Long-Term Case for Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp

J.C. Penney ( JCP) has hired bankers at Blackstone Group ( BX) for advice on how the struggling department-store chain can raise $1 billion in cash, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

One option could be to sell a minority stake in Penney, and the company has reached out to and heard from possible investors including private-equity firms, the people told the newspaper.

The latest news follows the retailer's move on Monday to oust CEO Ron Johnson after 17 months on the job.

J.C. Penney: A National Disgrace ,

LinkedIn ( LNKD) agreed to pay about $90 million to acquire Pulse, which makes an e-reader platform used on mobile devices.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Pulse's e-reader applications are used by more than 30 million people worldwide.

Yahoo! ( YHOO) is expected soon to hire a new chief of Americas division from AOL ( AOL), a person familiar with the matter told the Journal.

Ned Brody, who was the top advertising-sales executive at AOL, has resigned from the post to pursue "other opportunities," AOL said Thursday in a regulatory filing.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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