How The Stock Market Really Works
Not many people know how the Stock Market really works. The "Stock Market", as we call it, takes the form of many public asset-trading exchanges. In short, you buy part of the company, and are compensated with your fair share of the profits. The Stock Market really works as a means of making profit itself. Rather than being interested in company affairs, shareholders are usually more interested in trading different stocks for their face-value and reselling at a markup.
The Stock Market sells more than just stocks. It acts as both as assessment of economic wellbeing (such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average) and an actual marketplace of assets. Many complicated systems, methods of profit gaining, and monetary exchanges have been developed solely from the existence of the large Stock Market.
There is a lot of money in the Stock Market, really. There was around an estimated $36.6 trillion in October 2008 of invested money in the global exchange. Unfortunately for these people, not everyone's money is returned, and many lose their investments due to the will of the market. The fluctuation and instability of the changing hands of money is one of the key criticisms of the Stock Market.
The point of selling stocks, from a large company's point of view, is to gain revenue. There can be a variety of reasons why the corporation needs money, but putting itself up for public trading is a highly consistent way of bringing in new money to invest. The Stock Market really works as a constant investment, of sorts, for companies who wish to publicly auction their shares off for new cash. If no company wanted to gain extra money to fund and develop their new projects, there would be no Stock Market (or economy, for that matter).
As you can see, the Stock Market really works in mysterious ways. The general consensus of trading stock is that the interests of the shareholders will be respected. Some companies in the Stock Market honor this commitment, while others just want their fair share of the trade.