* Crude oil prices rebound after Monday’s rout
* Exxon, Chevron rally
* Apple biggest boost to S&P 500, Nasdaq
* Pep Boys up after board finds Icahn’s proposal superior
* Indexes up: Dow 0.90 pct, S&P 0.80 pct, Nasdaq 0.69 pct (Updates to open)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Dec 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were higher on Tuesday as a slight recovery in crude oil prices led to a surge in energy stocks.
Crude prices edged up as colder weather entered Europe and North America, raising hopes of a short-term uptick in the tepid demand that has plagued the commodity this year.
The S&P energy sector was up 1.84 percent, the most advanced among all 10 major sectors. Exxon shares were up 1.3 percent at $79.80, while Chevron was up 2.1 percent at $92.23.
“What we might see here, besides the fact that oil prices are steadier this morning, is bargain hunting, which could come in the form of window dressing,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.
Cardillo added that the market could add to gains if consumer confidence data came in as expected.
The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence for December is slated for release at 10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT). The index is expected to rise to 93.8 after falling to its lowest since September 2014 in November.
At 9:37 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 157.23 points, or 0.9 percent, at 17,685.5, the S&P 500 was up 16.51 points, or 0.8 percent, at 2,073.01 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 34.59 points, or 0.69 percent, at 5,075.57.
Still, the slide in oil prices appear to have dashed hopes of a strong year-end rally, traditionally known as the Santa Claus rally.
The S&P 500 slipped back into negative turf for the year after Monday’s selloff, while the Dow Jones industrial average is about 2 percent lower. The Nasdaq Composite, however, is up 6.4 percent.
Trading volumes are expected to remain thin this week as the year winds down.
Pep Boys was up 7.9 percent at $18.78 after the auto parts retailer’s board found Carl Icahn’s latest offer superior to the deal it accepted from Japan’s Bridgestone.
Apple was up 0.7 percent and was the biggest influence on the S&P and Nasdaq.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,377 to 390. On the Nasdaq, 1,797 issues rose and 432 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 16 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 25 new highs and three new lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)