Please don't get upset, as I am showing my ignorance - not trying to insult anyone.
I, too, have a chunk of money in stocks for my retirement account. Daily, it goes up or down. The money I bought the stocks with is already spent. The stock loss or gain is only realized when I pull the money out of the account (sell the stock). If I sell today, I will have lost money. If the market goes sky high tonight, then if I withdraw money (sell the stock), I will profit. If I do not withdraw money, then there is no immediate effect - no gain or loss, regardless of the value.
As far as the "outsider" comment, the price of a stock is how much someone is willing to pay to buy a portion of the company. Most stockholders know little or nothing of the company you are buying into (If you own a few shares of Carnival, how much do you know about the cruise industry - including running a large business, the mechanics of the ships,etc). In my case, I know very little.
Granted, the large shareholders probably know a bit more than the average small-time investor, which may be good for the company, but the average stock investor owns a negligible part of the company and has little to nothing to say about how it is run, which also may be a good thing (imagine if I had a deciding vote on how to run a cruise company - I'd probably sink it!)
As I said - I know very little about how the stock market works - but it seems to me that the average investor (me, for example), of which there are thousands, set the price of a stock by deciding how much they are willing to pay for it (either buy it or don't, the price will either come down until someone buys it, someone buys it at that price and the price goes up, or it remains unsold. By this theory, it has nothing to do with how much the company assets are actually worth (I don't think that Carnival Corp actually lost half it's assets in the past year, even though that is what the stock price indicates).