NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Priceline ( PCLN), which hit a new 52-week high on Tuesday, traded up before market open on Wednesday as investors continued their interest in the online travel specialist. Benchmark raised its price target on Priceline shares to $840 from $692 before the open, saying it expects the company's operating leverage to improve in the second half of the year. "We believe Priceline could benefit from increasing scale in emerging markets and favorable trends in the hotel industry, including lengthening booking windows, modestly improving demand, and growth in domestic and emerging market ADRs
average daily rates ," said the firm, which has a buy rating on the stock. Shares of Priceline ticked up 1.09% to reach $749.33. Shares of Nokia ( NOK), however, plummeted after the Finnish handset maker lowered its first-quarter guidance. "During the first quarter 2012, multiple factors negatively affected Nokia's Devices & Services business to a greater extent than previously expected," explained Nokia, in a press release, citing competitive industry dynamics and gross margin declines. Nokia's shares plunged 77 cents, or 15.3%, to $4.26 in pre-market trading. Apple ( AAPL) was up 0.97% to $634.56 in pre-market trading, as investors shrugged off a report that the Justice Department may sue the tech giant for alleged e-book price fixing. The iPhone maker hit yet another new all-time high during Tuesday trading as the company's market cap surpassed $600 billion for the first time. Along with Apple, software giant Microsoft ( MSFT) was one of the most active Nasdaq stocks before Tuesday's market open. Microsoft's shares crept up 8 cents, or 0.26%, to $30.55 on share volume of 202,045. -- Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our new tech blog, Tech Trends. Follow TheStreet Tech on your wireless devices.