AK Steel (AKS), U.S. Steel (X 0.54%), and Nucor (NUE -1.11%) all released quarterly reports recently, but the actual earnings numbers weren't want what mattered. The silver lining that laced all of these companies' reports was this important factor: price improvements of steel of about 3%, which is notable after the long, slow decline because of imported Chinese steel undercutting prices.

In this video, Fool contributor Tyler Crowe and energy and materials analyst Joel South say the silver lining is mostly due to slight upticks in steel demand for nonresidential construction and automotive, as well as tubular steel for the oil and gas industry. Find out which of these three companies our analysts prefer for the long term by tuning in to the video below.

Video segment starts at 6:28