What happened

China's stock market has been a shambles this year, with Bloomberg calling the Shanghai Composite Index "among the world's worst performing equity benchmarks" so far in 2018. And yet, the low prices that have resulted from the Chinese stock avalanche could turn out to be incredible bargains -- at least according to one analyst.

And he could be right. How else to explain the fact that on Thursday, shares of Chinese live-streaming entertainment company HUYA Inc. (NYSE:HUYA), electric-car maker NIO Inc. (NYSE:NIO), and hotel operator Huazhu Group Limited (NASDAQ:HTHT) -- companies that have little in common other than the country in which they operate -- all jumped so high?

Chinese yuan notes lying on a newspaper stocks section.

There's no news behind the sudden rise of these stocks today -- or is there? Image source: Getty Images.

So what

By close of trading Thursday, NIO shares were up 12.2%, HUYA up 13%, and Huazhu up 14.7%. And incredibly, these increases in stock prices came on no news whatsoever that directly implicated any of the three stocks.

That's not to say there was no news period, however. Yesterday, a trader at Australian stock shop AMP Capital Investors Ltd., who's credited with calling the Chinese stock market sell-off before it happened, did a U-turn in his opinion of these stocks and declared the Chinese stock market "cheap and under-owned."

Right now, Chinese stocks, as a whole, are selling for less than their average valuations over the past decade. And according to AMP dynamic markets head Nader Naeimi, this may be "the best time to buy a market" -- when no one else wants it.

Now what

After all, Naeimi says, "because expectations are so low, it doesn't take much positive news to turn." Today's positive reaction to his positive comments may be the best proof of all just how little "positive news" it takes.

Now imagine how much better the reaction could be if a heavyweight Chinese stock like Alibaba has something good to say about the Chinese economy when it reports earnings ... tomorrow.

Rich Smith owns shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.