The suggestion will not contribute to the cessation of the abrupt fluctuations that global markets produce. On the contrary...
In 'do little to calm' do means 'take calming actions'. I would find the analogy with a use of 'do' that refers to general physical action, as in your example, confusing. (There is similarity, in that both 'do's refer to taking action, but I don't think the example does much to help explain this use of 'do' - which usually takes the form 'do + <action-with-positive-connotations>': examples - do little to help/calm/assuage/add/contribute/alleviate... An exception to this is when there is a positive implication elsewhere in the sentence 'The rain did little to dampen the joy of the occasion' - which personifies the rain as a kill-joy that was trying to dampen the occasion, but only managed to - say - get the bride's gown a bit wet.
Last edited by BobK; 26-Sep-2011 at 17:51.
Reason: Correction; there's no positive 'statement' (my original word)