In posting a third-quarter profit, JPMorgan Chase & Co. was able to defy widespread expectations that the effects of the financial crisis would drive it into the industry's growing red-ink ranks.

But lest anyone take the report as a hint of a turning point for the company, or the industry, absent were references from chief executive James Dimon to glasses half full, or games moving to their late innings. Rather, the talk was of an expectation that the toughest quarters may lie ahead.

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