The boomlet from Fed Chair JeromePowell's speech is now over. The S & P 500 went from 3,950 as Powell began his speech last Wednesday to as high as 4,100 Thursday morning, a 3.8% rally in less than 24 hours. It has now come full circle, back to 3,941. What happened? Many were deeply cynical of the Powell rally to begin with, arguing there was nothing in Powell's speech that could be read as dovish about interest rates or monetary policy. Second, a string of hot economic reports (November nonfarm payrolls, strong hourly earnings, strong ISM Services report), has convinced many that the much anticipated year-end stock rally is not going to happen. Or, more accurately, that it has already happened and has run out of steam. The S & P has rallied 10% from its lows in October. Third, it didn't help that the Wall Street Journal's Nick Timiraos ran a story Monday that the Fed Funds rate could rise above 5% after next week's Fed meeting. How bad will 2023 be? At the Goldman Sachs Financial Services Conference on Tuesday, CEOs were cautious but not gloomy. While some chose to focus on one or two CEOs warning of a slowing economy, most CEOs at the conference were not pessimistic. Some highlights: American Express: Still seeing record travel bookings BofA: Travel strong, consumer strong, rate of growth slowing Ally Bank: Expect soft to mid-landing on economy PNC: Corporate loan demand softening, forecast mild recession, expecting Fed cuts at end of 2023 JP Morgan: Delinquency levels below pre-pandemic levels Capital One: Consumer in 'strikingly good place', consumer debt burden at 40-year lows. On Wednesday, a quintet of large regional banks will give outlooks at the same Goldman Sachs conference (Fifth Third, Huntington Bancshares, US Bancorp, MTB Bank and Regions Financials) plus Citigroup and Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman. The bottom line: Investors, for the moment, are choosing to believe that the outlook for 2023 is leaning more to "earnings are going lower" rather than "earnings will be flat." If that is the case, given the modest rally off the lows, "It is hard for equity investors to find much to be optimistic about if they are paying higher prices for a weaker outlook going into 2023," Mike O'Rourke from Jones Trading said in a note last night.