US STOCKS-Wall St dips as indexes track crude prices lower
* Petsmart to be acquired by private equity consortium
* Energy shares outperform as traders seek bargains
* Indexes off: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct (Updates to morning trading, adds comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Dec 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks dipped on Monday as initial gains vanished, as did a brief rebound in crude oil prices.
Brent and U.S. crude had briefly rebounded after having hit fresh 5-1/2 year lows earlier in the day, only to turn lower again.
Still, energy shares were the top performers of the benchmark S&P 500 index as investors sought bargains among the bigger names. Four of the largest five energy sector components in terms of market capitalization were up on the day.
"You had some traders take profits on the early gains once oil moved to negative," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Energy stocks "have dropped so much, you see bottom fishing in the big names but smaller companies continue to move lower," he said, referring to a search for value among bigger stocks. Continuación...