U.S. stocks were higher at the opening bell on this last day of 2014. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose slightly more than expected. Initial jobless claims increased by 17,000 at 298,000 for the week ended Dec. 27. Apple (AAPL) is looking to make history this year, but not the kind it probably wants. ABI Research is forecasting iPad sales will post a decline for the first time since its creation. But the New Year will bring good news for the tech giant. The same report says Apple’s iPad sales will reverse the trend and rise 16% in 2015. Around the world, almost all major markets will be closed on New Year’s Day. But it’s business as usual for U.S. Stock traders on this New Year’s Eve. Both the New York Stock Exchange (ICE) and Nasdaq (NDAQ) are open the full day today. Bond and Futures traders (CME) will be able to pop out and celebrate a bit earlier.