The Dow Jones industrial average opened more than 100 points in the red on Tuesday, yet stocks refused to be crushed. Jim Cramer considered this real resilience, as the Dow continued to keep fighting and closed slightly higher at the end of the day.
"It can take a jab, absorb multiple uppercuts, and it simply won't stay down, let alone lay flat on the canvas," the "Mad Money" host said.
With a plethora of negative events rolling in on Tuesday, Cramer ticked each one off as he went down the list:
First, former market darling Valeant had its share price cut in half in a single session. While it had the backing of big names such as hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, it came under the spotlight after Hillary Clinton lambasted it for raising drug prices and after wider criticism of its business model. Cramer found it strange that there was almost no pin action on to other stocks.
The market also shrugged off the horrendous retail numbers reported. February sales fell 0.1 percent, and even worse, January sales were revised down to negative 0.4 percent.
"I cannot stress enough just how horrible this news is," Cramer said.
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When January sales were initially reported, the market rallied. When they were revised down on Tuesday stocks refused to sink and Cramer interpreted this as a sign of strength.
The third negative event was the nasty decline in crude oil. After months of panic every time the price of oil dropped, it didn't even blink. Exxon Mobil actually went higher and it seems to Cramer that there are buyers lurking underneath everywhere in oil these days.
Europe was also hammered, and lately the U.S. market has been trading in lockstep with Europe. Meanwhile, on the eve of the Fed decision on Wednesday, stocks did not trade in sync with Europe.
"If Janet Yellen and company believe the economy is too strong, then we are going to get a rate hike, maybe as early as June. Who knows, if they want to do a little shock treatment, they could give us one tomorrow, although that would likely be disastrous," Cramer said.
Cramer speculated that the fearless nature of buyers stemmed from positive news that neutralized the negativity, such as the Chinese buyer stepping forward to bid for Starwood or the bid Fresh Market received from a private equity company. He said a lot of money recently has chased only a few companies.
"As much as buyers should be more cautious here, every time it looks like this fighting stock market is about to go down for the count, it shakes off the punches and comes right back at you," Cramer said.
Ultimately Tuesday ended in a draw. But it could have been a knockout, and the fact that it wasn't was a huge victory for the bulls.