* Crude oil prices rebound after Monday’s rout
* Apple biggest boost to S&P 500, Nasdaq
* Amazon up after strong holiday results
* Pep Boys up after board finds Icahn’s proposal superior
* Indexes up: Dow 0.96 pct, S&P 0.88 pct, Nasdaq 1.05 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Dec 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 logging a small gain for the year, as tech stocks rallied and energy stocks reflected a recovery in crude prices.
The S&P 500 was up 0.78 percent for the year, while the Nasdaq Composite extended gains and was up 7.56 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average, however, was down about 0.7 percent.
“I think equities on average are destined to end 2015 in uneventful fashion,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.
“Investors on average are at the crossroads of concern and optimism,” he said. Lower oil prices put the pace of global growth in question and could translate to lackluster earnings, he added.
Apple was up 1.5 percent at $108.48 and was the biggest influence on the S&P and Nasdaq.
Amazon rose 2.9 percent and hit a life high of $694.90. The online retailer recorded more than 3 million new Prime memberships in the third week of December, indicating strong holiday demand.
Data on Tuesday indicated consumer sentiment was improving, with the Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence for December up at 96.5, beating the 93.8 expected.
At 12:43 p.m. ET (1743 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 167.54 points, or 0.96 percent, at 17,695.81, the S&P 500 was up 18.17 points, or 0.88 percent, at 2,074.67 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 53.01 points, or 1.05 percent, at 5,093.99.
All 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.22 percent rise in the tech sector.
Crude prices edged up on Tuesday on the prospects of colder weather in Europe and North America, raising hopes of a short-term uptick in the tepid demand that has plagued the commodity this year.
Exxon shares were up 0.3 percent at $78.98, while Chevron was up 1.1 percent at $91.38.
Still, the slide in oil prices appear to have dashed hopes of a strong year-end rally, traditionally known as the Santa Claus rally.
Trading volumes are expected to remain thin this week as the year winds down.
“I don’t think what you’re seeing today and probably what you’ll see tomorrow and Thursday is going to be indicative of any long-term fundamental movement,” said Ernie Cecilia, chief investment officer of Bryn Mawr Trust in Devon, Pennsylvania.
Pep Boys was up 8 percent at $18.79 after the auto parts retailer’s board found Carl Icahn’s latest offer superior to the deal it accepted from Japan’s Bridgestone.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,968 to 1,024. On the Nasdaq, 1,670 issues rose and 1,063 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 63 new highs and 28 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)