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Stocks were posting sizable gains this afternoon as Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan gave a generally upbeat assessment of the economy in his midyear report to Congress.

At 3 p.m. the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 136.58 at 8,043.30, bolstered by strong earnings reports from Disney and Philip Morris.

Broad-market indicators were on the verge of snapping a three-session slump with help from the bond market, where interest rates edged back down toward last week's seven-month lows.

The Fed chairman said inflationary pressures have remained tame, but reiterated that the central bank stands ready to boost interest rates at the first sign of inflation.

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