* Exxon, Chevron slide as crude gives up gains
* Pep Boys down after Bridgestone pulls out of buyout
* S&P 500 marginally positive for year
* Indexes down: Dow 0.30 pct, S&P 0.31 pct, Nasdaq 0.26 pct (Updates to open)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Dec 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were marginally lower on Wednesday as Brent crude retreated to near 11-year low.
Shares of Exxon and Chevron were down about 1 percent. Chevron was the biggest drag on the Dow Jones industrial average.
The S&P 500 energy sector is down 22.86 percent for the year, easily the worst performer on the index, followed by an 8.94 percent decline in materials, caused by a rout in commodities.
Trading volumes are expected to remain thin on the last trading days of the year.
“What I would expect for today and tomorrow ... would be tactical trading rather than investment strategies at work,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.
At 9:44 a.m. ET (1444 GMT), the Dow was down 53.76 points, or 0.3 percent, at 17,667.22, the S&P 500 was down 6.47 points, or 0.31 percent, at 2,071.89 and the Nasdaq Composite index was down 13.34 points, or 0.26 percent, at 5,094.59.
Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, led by the 0.61 percent decline in the energy sector.
Apple was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
U.S. stocks closed sharply higher on Tuesday on a rally in tech stocks led by Apple and Amazon.
The S&P 500 stayed in positive territory for the year, up a marginal 0.69 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 7.58 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average, however, was down 0.85 percent in 2015.
Data showed pending home sales fell 0.9 percent in November, after inching up 0.2 percent in October. Economists had expected a 0.5 percent rise in November.
Pep Boys was down 3 percent at $18.38. Carl Icahn agreed to buy the auto parts maker for about $1.03 billion, after Japan’s Bridgestone said it would not counter his offer.
Fairchild Semiconductor was up 3.3 percent at $20.68 after it received a revised offer from the Party G Group, with new terms on termination fees if the takeover fails to secure regulatory approvals.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,779 to 908. On the Nasdaq, 1,269 issues fell and 995 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed eight new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and 16 new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)