It's been a terrible year for gold miners, with the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (ticker symbol GDX) getting demolished to the tune of nearly 50 percent while the S&P 500 has sailed 26 percent higher. But precisely because the gold miners have become so universally hated, some investment advisers and chart readers suggest that it's time to dig in.
"This is the trade that nobody wants to have on," said Larry McDonald, U.S. credit, equity and policy strategist at Newedge. "I don't think it's any question that they're the most undervalued sector right now."
McDonald points out the sharp divergence between miners and the market not just in performance, but also in key valuation metrics.
"On a price-to-book basis, the gold miners are much cheaper than the market," McDonald said. "And the GDX is yielding more than the S&P."
(Read more: Gold falls as equities rebound, physical demand dips)
McDonald thinks the gold miners will rise to close some of that gap. And according to Oppenheimer's chief market technician Carter Worth, the charts are also pointing higher.
"GDX has all the hallmarks of something that's stabilizing, basing," Worth said Friday on CNBC's "Options Action."
He said that the ETF has been trading in "as well-defined a downtrend as you could possibly find in the market."