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This could signal a near-term bottom for commodities

It's been a tough year for commodities.

Gold, crude oil and natural gas are down a respective 6, 11 and 21 percent in 2015. Those returns have caused the S&P GSCI commodity index to hit its lowest level since the financial crisis. It's also on track for its fourth worst year on record, but according to one expert, there could be signs of a bottom.

"The ugliest month [of the year] was in July where every single commodity was negative except one," Jodie Gunzberg told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday. "But we had a major comeback in October; where more than half became positive on the month, and we've never seen that kind of swing before when so many commodities were down."


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Gunzberg, global head of commodities at S&P Dow Jones Indices, noted there were two other instances in the S&P GSCI commodity index where a sharp rebound resulted in a short-term bottom for commodities. "In January 2009, 11 single commodities came back just before the S&P GSCI hit its bottom," she said. Gunzberg noted there was a similar pattern in 1998, where the space staged an incredible comeback off the low.

For Gunzberg, that remarkable swing in prices the last three months doesn't necessarily mean that the these assets are off to the races. As she notes, there isn't "a lot of supportive cases for commodities" at the moment, and each has been trading in very distinctive patterns, but she does see promise in one area.

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Looking at the S&P 500 energy sector total return minus the S&P 500 energy corporate bond index total return, Gunzberg noted that energy equities have been outperforming energy bonds. "That reflects the market belief that oil stocks will rise," she said. "That kind of swing only happens after huge historical bottoms."

For Gunzberg, the reason that measure is important to all commodities is because energy makes up 70 percent of the total S&P GSCI index, therefore if energy outperforms it could give a boost to the entire space.

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