As market indices around the world slid today, roiled by debt concerns, Sotheby’s stock took an especially hard hit, falling more than 13.3 percent, with trading volume totaling three times its average. The auction house’s stock price is now down 29 percent over the past 30 days.
Last week, Sotheby’s, which is the only publicly traded auction house, announced record profits, as the art market stormed back from its decline during the recent worldwide economic recession.
“Our business is fairly closely tied to how the market performs,” Nieman Marcus CEO Karen W. Katz told The New York Times this weekend, commenting on the luxury market. With the threat of a double-dip recession on the rise, a drop in stock prices could spell the end of the surge in the art market, as the wealthy pare back their spending.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 5.5 percent, while the S&P 500 dropped 6.7 percent today.
A number of luxury companies saw their stocks decline. Jeweler Tiffany & Co. dropped 9.9 percent, luxury conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (owned by the billionaire French art collector Bernard Arnault) slid 7 percent and accessories company Coach took an 11.7 percent hit.