The Warhol signal for the US stock market

In the bidding wars at Sotheby’s this week — where the former couple Harry and Linda Macklowe were parting with much of their art collection after a bitter divorce — there were a few mysterious lulls.

Several of the best-known works sold for less than expected. Alberto Giacometti’s Le Nez, a bronze long-nosed figure, was hammered below its $70m to $90m estimate before an Andy Warhol silkscreen of Marilyn Monroe went for $41m, only slightly above the low end of its expected price range. It was somewhat incongruous given the enthusiasm seen minutes earlier that helped set records for

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