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US STOCKS-Wall St up for 2nd day, Dimon's remarks buoy banks
* Dimon's remarks on JPMorgan profits buoy bank shares
* Falling oil prices weigh on market
* Tech rises after broker's upgrade of HP
* Dow up 0.1 pct, S&P 500 up 0.2 pct; Nasdaq up 1 pct
* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US] (Adds context on Dow's back-to-back gains in new paragraph 8, updates volume figures)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose for a second day on Wednesday after JP Morgan Chase's (JPM.N) chief executive said his bank was profitable in January and February, echoing comments by Citigroup's CEO a day earlier.
But the Dow industrials eked out a slim gain as a 7 percent drop in oil prices pushed energy shares like Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) lower and limited a broad-market advance.
Jamie Dimon's comments to CNBC television, which reversed a broad decline, came after a speech where he said the bank's bond department had just had its two busiest months ever.
His comments followed similar remarks on profits from Citigroup's Vikram Pandit that on Tuesday spurred Wall Street's biggest rally in nearly four months.
JPMorgan shares rose 4.6 percent to $20.40, while an index of bank stocks .BKX climbed 3.1 percent.
Dimon "calmed the markets down. He was the voice of reason," said Angel Mata, managing director of listed equity trading at Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets in Baltimore.
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gained 3.91 points, or 0.06 percent, to 6,930.40. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX added 1.76 points, or 0.24 percent, to 721.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC rose 13.36 points, or 0.98 percent, to 1,371.64.
Tuesday's huge rally and Wednesday's extremely modest rise marked the first two-day advance for the Dow since the previous back-to-back gains on Feb. 5-6. The blue-chip average is now down 1.9 percent for the month.
HP AND APPLE SHINE
A broker's recommendation that investors buy shares of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) pushed stocks of computer makers higher and the Nasdaq ended up nearly 1 percent.
HP shares rose 5.8 percent to $28.61, making it the Dow's top advancer.
On Nasdaq, Apple (AAPL.O), the maker of MacBook computers and the iPod, jumped 4.6 percent to $92.68. Dell (DELL.O) rose 2.5 percent to $8.98.
Apple introduced a smaller version of its popular iPod Shuffle music player on Wednesday with a new feature that enables the user to see what song is playing.[ID:nN11266963]
But a drop of 7.4 percent in the price of U.S. front-month crude oil futures CLc1 drove energy shares lower, limiting a broad-market advance a day after stocks had their best performance since late November. The April crude contract CLc1 settled at $42.33 a barrel, down $3.38, or 7.4 percent.
Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) was among the heaviest weights on the Dow, down 2.4 percent at $65.77. An S&P index of energy shares .GSPE slid 1.2 percent.
Trading was active on the New York Stock Exchange, with about 1.75 billion shares changing hands, above last year's estimated daily average of 1.49 billion, while on Nasdaq, about 2.24 billion shares traded, below last year's daily average of 2.28 billion..
Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 3 to 2. On the Nasdaq, the ratio was even, with 1,342 stocks advancing and 1,343 declining. (Editing by Jan Paschal)
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