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Drop in consumer confidence sends US stocks lower again

Financial markets reversed course on Friday after a three day rally, dropping as consumer confidence plummets amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dow Jones led US indexes lower, sliding more than 4%. European markets also declined.

The falls came despite US approval of a massive aid bill as the number of virus cases in the US surpassed China.

University of Michigan data also showed US consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level in three years in March.

"The outlook for the national economy for the year ahead weakened dramatically in March, with the majority now expecting bad times financially in the entire country," the director of the survey said in a statement.

More than 3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, a record high that follows widespread forced business, school and other closures as authorities try to limit the spread of the virus.