Stocks rose slightly on Wednesday as the positive impact from U.S. President Barack Obama's call for a lower corporate tax rate offset a weak outlook from Boeing.

In his State of the Union address to Congress Tuesday night, the president asked lawmakers to work with him to cut the rate and simplify the tax code, moves that could lead to higher corporate profits.

Boeing Co fell 4 percent to $69.30 and was the top decliner among Dow components after it posted a drop in quarterly profit and a disappointing forecast partly due to delays to its new 787 Dreamliner.

It was very encouraging to hear Obama's comments on corporate tax rates, and it made me bullish, said Jeffrey Friedman, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago. But Boeing is a big boy on the block, and it was disappointing that they didn't beat the Street. We're pulling back on that.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 11.35 points, or 0.09 percent, at 11,988.54. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 2.69 points, or 0.21 percent, at 1,293.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 4.40 points, or 0.16 percent, at 2,723.65.

In the latest economic data, new U.S. single-family home sales rose in December to their highest level in eight months. Stocks barely budged on the news.

United Technologies Corp , another Dow component, recorded a higher-than-expected profit, but the stock slid 0.4 percent to $81.38.

Investors awaited comments from the Federal Reserve, which is expected to nod to an improving economic outlook as it reaffirms a plan to buy $600 billion in government debt to help speed a recovery. The comments will be released Wednesday afternoon.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)