Though Christmas is arriving in muted colors at many bank companies, J.P. Morgan & Co. is flush with old-fashioned Yuletide spirit.

Chairman Dennis

Weatherstone told Morgan's 12,000 employees in an internal memorandum on Thursday that their 1991 profit-sharing bonus would rise to 17% from 13% in 1990.

He also offered an extra day off to each - and to each a good year.

Morgan usually waits until after the new year to make its profit-sharing announcement, a bank spokesman said, but "when you've got good news, it's best to share it as quickly as you can." Performance bonus announcements will be made in January, as per usual in recent years, the spokesman indicated.

The surprise vacation day - which was offered last year at that other paragon of big-earning New York banks, Bankers Trust New York Corp. - is the first in recent memory at Morgan, the spokesman said.

Bankers Trust is not offering the extra day this year, a spokesman said. Morgan is encouraging employees to take their extra day before the end of the year.

Mr. Weatherstone said the profit-sharing increase reflects the company's "excellent financial results" through the third quarter.

For Morgan watchers, it also may indicate that the fourth quarter won't be so bad, either.

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