Artnet: Does a Sotheby’s Stock Dip Signal Trouble for the Wider Economy? (11-30-15)

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Does a Sotheby’s Stock Dip Signal Trouble for the Wider Economy?

Compared to the $24 trillion US stock market, Sotheby’s is relatively small, a public company valued at just $1.9 billion. But its stock is watched well beyond the art world. Indeed, a dip in Sotheby’s stock has an uncanny record of signaling danger in the broader economy—and the New York auctioneer’s shares are down 38 percent since June, to a three-year low.

Should we be worried? Here’s the record.

Back in October 1989, Sotheby’s shares reached a new high, fueled in part by Japanese buyers paying records for Impressionist paintings. After that milestone, the stock lost two-thirds of its value in a year. Two months after Sotheby’s peak, the Nikkei 225 stock index touched nearly 39,000 and then lost 80 percent over 13 years. Today, the Japanese benchmark remains under 20,000… continue reading

 

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