JP Morgan Chase which was expected to break even or report a small loss in the fourth quarter said Thursday its profit plunged 76 percent.

JP Morgan's earned $702 million in the quarter or 7 cents a share, compared to $3 billion or 86 cents per share in the same period of 2007, the bank said in a statement Thursday.

JP Morgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said losses were driven by a loss in its investment banking unit and higher costs.

Our fourth-quarter financial results were very disappointing, driven by a loss in Investment Banking largely attributable to continued markdowns on leveraged loans and mortgage trading positions, as well as weak trading results, said Dimon, who yesterday forecasted the worst for the economy has not yet arrived.

The bank's net full year income for 2008 was $5.6 billion or $1.37 a share on revenue of $67.3 billion, meaning it declined as much as 64 percent from the previous year. JP Morgan registered in 2007 a full net income of $15.4 billion or $4.38 per share.