Nightly Business Report — November 21, 2014

Tonight on Nightly Business Report, two of the world’s most prominent central banks in Europe and China triggered a stock market rally across the globe. And senators accused the Federal Reserve Bank of New York of being too cozy with the banks it regulates.

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Today’s stock stories: DOW, BID, FL, ANN & AET.

Ariel Skelley | Blend Images | Getty Images

Our northern neighbors not only excel at making maple syrup, they’re also very successful at educating their youngsters. A new test measured the computer competency of thousands of Canadian kids, who reached an above average score, reports Engadget. In Ontario, 60,000 eighth graders took the International Computer Literacy Study, which assesses their ability to use …

Gilles Sabrie | LightRocket | Getty Images
Abandoned buildings are shown at the Caofeidian Environmental Industries Park in Caofeidian, China.

So now they start easing credit. Five years after an epic spree of reckless mortgage lending in the U.S. sank the global financial system, U.S. banks are healing relatively well, thanks to aggressive rate slashing and money printing early on by U.S. central bankers. That’s a big reason the U.S. recovery, though halting, shows signs …

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Mexican agricultural workers cultivate romaine lettuce on a farm in Holtville, Calif.

President Barack Obama’s new immigration plan may end up doing the most damage to the very sectors that begged for reform. The White House boasted Thursday the president’s historic executive actions on immigration will help the U.S. economy, but some predicted it will actually harm Americans’ wages. More surprisingly, however, is the possibility that a new …

Peter Hermus | Getty Images

Retiring soon? Take these steps to ease post-career anxiety Once retirement begins, you’re left to handle the often challenging transition from receiving a regular paycheck to creating your own income stream from retirement assets. It means a shift in mind-set—switching from putting money into retirement accounts to withdrawing money from them. Whether you have two …

Kevin Winter | Getty Images

Thus far in our “Powering the holidays” series, we’ve looked at companies providing the speed, data, monitoring and privacy protection that enable e-commerce businesses to thrive at the busiest time of the year. Even if merchants somehow master all of that, none of it matters much if deliveries show up after Christmas. All of their …

Patti Domm | CNBC
OPEC headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

Oil gushed higher on China’s surprise rate cut but also as traders increased bets that OPEC will have no choice but to cut production when it meets on Thanksgiving Day. China’s central bank cut rates for the first time in more than two years, firing up a global risk rally that was also driven by …

Source: Ford Motor Company
2015 Ford F-150

It won’t get 30 miles on a gallon of gas, but the new, lighter Ford F-150 will offer substantially better fuel economy, according to official miles per gallon estimates released by the automaker Friday. Ford said the most fuel-efficient version of the 2015 F-150, featuring a 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4×2 engine, will get up to 26 …

Sergei Supinsky | AFP | Getty Images

Friday marks one year since protests first erupted in Kiev’s Independence Square, an event that snowballed into the biggest upheaval Ukraine – together with the West — has seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the course of that year, Ukraine has had three governments, engaged in a deadly conflict with neighboring Russia …

Source: OrthoColorado Hospital
OrthoColorado Hospital in LIttleton, CO., part of Centura Health.

They’ll treat people who use tobacco, but they won’t hire them. A major Colorado health system has said that starting Jan. 1 it will not hire anyone who smokes or uses any tobacco product, including nicotine patches and gum. Centura Health will enforce the ban by testing job applicants for tobacco use, The Denver Post …

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Google is now letting Web users pay a monthly fee to remove ads from sites. The subscription service, called Google Contributor, asks users to pay $1 to $3 a month to remove advertising from partner sites on both desktop and mobile. Users who sign up for the service will see a “thank you” message from …

Peter Spiro | Getty Images
A student rides through the Bridge of Sighs, a passageway connecting two college buildings at Oxford University

Determining the value of a college degree requires some new math: currency conversion. The appeal of not just studying abroad, but getting a degree abroad, seems particularly attractive amid rising U.S. college costs. The average cost to attend a private four-year college in the U.S. is $42,419 for the 2014-15 academic year, according to The …

David Grogan | CNBC
Michael Novogratz

If hedge funds and Japan dated, it might be called an on-again, off-again relationship. Investors famously shorted Japanese government bonds, or JGBs, a few years ago but got burned; the bearish trade was dubbed the “widow-maker.” The next big play was a bullish one on local stocks rising and the yen falling, which made tons …

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Almost as long as there has been digital music, there have been podcasts – regular downloadable audio programs on everything from hip hop to high finance. But after a decade or so, a podcast has broken through into the media mainstream, and experts are claiming that new podcast “Serial” could mark a sea-change in listening …