I'm new to the stock market, and I'm still trying to see the bigger picture of what's essentially going on. As far as my knowledge goes, people buy stocks to get a share of profits from the company. But if the company is making no profit, or even has a negative profit, stock prices can still increase due to buying volume, as traders buy low after a crash and sell high after a rally.
So does the price of the stock depend on the traders/investors or how much profit that the company makes?
How can you explain the significant decrease in profit, but a rise in stock prices?
Are traders/investors just competing against each other by swing trading since companies are now cutting dividends, and no profit is coming into the market pool?
And are dividends the "profit" that the companies hand out to traders/investors as they profit? I'm just confused where the "shares of profit" from the company comes in as opposed to the actual price of the share itself.