Down 57 on the 100-share index on Wednesday, back up 63 points yesterday, the stock market is treading water, establishing a base if you prefer. Be thankful. The drama has gone out of it.
Yet the drama in May was real enough, an exceptionally short, sharp sell-off. Between May 9 and May 22, the Footsie tumbled by 9.4 per cent - and the mid-and small-cap indices by 12.9 per cent and 10.9 per cent.
Worse, nearly all the damage was done on six days when the market moved by at least two per cent. Robert Parkes, HSBC's UK equity strategist notes that you must go back to March, 2003, to find a month with so many "event days" - and that was the month that the great Millennium bear market finally juddered to a halt.
Mr Parkes doubts that this year's drama-filled May will mark the peak of the recovery from the trough of March, 2003, but it would be good to understand why it happened at all.
This was after all a worldwide phenomenon, not an isolated British or American scare. Explanations at the time were self-contradictory - that jumpy Ben Bernanke would bump up US interest rates too far and stall the American economy and with it the emerging economies in Asia that live by exporting to America. We were heading for a bout of inflation spilling over from wild oil and metals prices.
The demand driving commodity prices was coming from China - it still is. If Mr Bernanke's interest rates checked Americans' appetite for Chinese imports the demand would dry up and with it the threat of inflation.
Yet the biggest falls were in mining and oil shares on days when it looked as if speculative buying of oil and copper might be unwinding, in which event inflation was a false alarm.
Hindsight makes none of this clearer. There was an element of truth in all the rationalisations, but nothing like enough to justify a double-digit shake-out compressed into less than a fort-night. None of the numbers that seemingly knocked the stuffing out of the market in mid-May pointed to anything resembling a hard landing.
So what was it all about? Well, we can always start by blaming derivatives. Or computerised trading programmes, if you prefer. Remember the way the market took a last-minute lunge in the way it was going already in the last half-hour of those "event days".
Something odd was going on, something that had nothing to do with lofty macro-economics let alone the prospects of the companies whose shares went tumbling.
Mr Parkes points a finger "variance swaps", arcane contracts based not on the way the market is going to move, but on how much it jumps about in either direction.
You can see their attraction to a sober-sided fund manager who wants to insure himself against bouts of sudden drama in the market - like that in May.
But when volatility kicks in, outfits that have sold these swaps are in trouble. By whatever mechanism, their pain will feed through to the real market. Thus volatility breeds volatility - and it can all happen again.