Ruble crashes and Darden reports — 5 things to know today

December 16, 2014, 1:02 PM UTC
A woman walks past a board listing foreign currency rates against the Russian ruble outside an exchange office in central Moscow on December 16, 2014. The Russian ruble set a new all-time record low on Tuesday after bouncing back briefly despite an emergency move by Russia's central bank to raise interest rates to 17 percent. AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV (Photo credit should read KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Kirill Kudryavtsev — AFP/Getty Images

Good morning, friends and Fortune readers.

It’s a pretty busy day today, with potentially destabilizing monetary news coming out of Russia, a bit of economic data here in the US and some serious M&A coming out of the energy sector. Here’s everything you need to know:

1. The Ruble is crashing. Hard.

The Russian currency sank to below 70 against the dollar for the first time. Bloomberg notes that a combination of international sanctions and a sagging oil market have led to the massive devaluation, and that capital controls may the the last best hope to stop the bleeding.

2. Can Darden rebound?

The embattled restaurant operator will report earnings today, and the Olive Garden owner is hoping for some good news. Darden (DRI) has struggled in recent years as family dining restaurants like the Olive Garden have lost massive business to fast casual restaurants like Chipotle and Panera.

3. Get energized

There’s been a big deal in the energy sector, with Canadian company Talisman Energy being acquired by Spanish firm Repsol for $13.1 billion (US dollars.) The deal is likely to close in the second quarter of 2015, according to the CBC.

4. Construction time

This morning, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will release numbers on new residential construction. The number was up last month, and the housing industry obviously is hoping that trend will continue.

5. RadioShack asks for help

RadioShack (RSH) is in serious trouble. The latest earnings were terrible, and the electronics retailer could very well be on its last legs. To try to stave that off, they’ve brought in advisory firm FTI Consulting, according to the Wall Street Journal. Someone from the firm will take over as the company’s interim CFO.

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