I'm here in part to substantiate a remark made to you last week by my capable Motley Fool colleague Christopher Barker: The bottom of the U.S. steel market has been spied.

Accompanying an earnings report by Nucor (NYSE:NUE), the biggest of the mini-mill operators, CEO Dan DiMicco stated that "business conditions bottomed in April." It was an assessment that echoes prior sentiments from steelmaker ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT) and was buoyed by support from Indiana-based Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD) and AK Steel’s (NYSE:AKS) second-quarter results.

My own confident assessment comes from none other than U.S. Steel (NYSE:X), which, while reporting its second consecutive quarterly loss, is beginning to show tangible signs of life. To be more specific, what's long been referred to as "Big Steel" chalked up a loss of $392 million, or $2.92 per share for the quarter. Those figures compare to income in the year-ago quarter of $668 million, or $5.65 a share. All this comes with the inclusion of a $41 million currency exchange gain in the most recent quarter, which added $0.31 per share to the EPS line.

Nevertheless, the sun didn't shine uniformly at U.S. Steel during the period. Of the company's three operations, the loss from the flat-rolled unit shrank from the prior quarter, even with the utilization rate remaining at a paltry 32%. In fact, while CEO John Surma predicted another round of losses for the next quarter, there are enough positive signs in the flat-rolled area, for instance -- which serves automotive and appliance manufacturers, among others -- that the company plans to reopen its shuttered flat-rolled plant in Granite City, Illinois.

At the same time, U.S. Steel Europe may be on the mend. For a number of reasons, including lower raw material costs, the unit "improved significantly" over the results of the first quarter of 2009.

The laggard, however, was the tubular goods area, which primarily serves the energy industry. According to U.S. Steel, the unit's continuing softness reflects "the impacts of lower oil and gas exploration and production activity, high inventory levels and the surge of unfairly traded and subsidized product from China."

But two for three is good in both baseball and steel industry recovery. If you like what you're hearing from U.S. Steel and Nucor, it just might be time to get yourself into the game.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned above. He does solicit your questions or comments. The Fool has a disclosure policy that's stronger than steel.