April was a good month, but the first day of May has brought a cold dose of reality to markets.

Volatility returned as the ASX fell by more than three per cent in midday trade.

It followed what turned out to be a record month in April, as the ASX200 posted its biggest monthly gain since 1987 (+8.8 per cent) while the Small Ords Index rallied by more than 14 per cent.

Those gains followed the March horror show, when stocks collapsed before markets responded to unprecedented levels of government stimulus across major western economies.