CHICAGO - Moody's Investors Service dropped Cook County, Ill.'s general obligation rating to Aa3 from Aa2 due to overall deterioration in the county's credit profile and economic and political pressures on its sales tax.

The agency assigned a stable outlook to the credit, affecting $3.1 billion of GOs. The review by the agency was conducted as the county, anchored by Chicago, prepares to issue $520 million of GOs later this month . The sale includes $270 million of refunding bonds and $250 million of new-money GOs that likely will be sold under the taxable Build American Bonds program.

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