Stocks rose on Friday, led by a rise in energy shares, as the U.S. dollar retreated against the euro amid speculation that debt-laden Greece would grab a financial lifeline.

U.S. front-month crude added 0.5 percent to $85.81 a barrel as the U.S. dollar fell, and the S&P energy index <.GSPE> shot up 1.1 percent.

Among individual stocks, Exxon Mobil Corp rose 1.2 percent to $68.69 on the New York Stock Exchange, while Chevron Corp climbed 1.6 percent to $78.89.

If we could put some of the Greece issues behind us, I think we can focus on some of the other fundamentals, like job growth, said John O'Brien, senior vice president at MKM Partners LLC in Cleveland. We move beyond Greece we can start to look at core issues on the home front. We keep seeing good numbers.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 20.93 points, or 0.19 percent, to 10,948.00. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 2.58 points, or 0.22 percent, to 1,189.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 3.72 points, or 0.15 percent, to 2,440.53.

Shares of J. C. Penney Co Inc , the big U.S. retailer, jumped 2.5 percent to $31.75 after Goldman Sachs added the stock to a list of recommended buys.

The U.S. dollar index <.DXY> slipped 0.4 percent, while the euro rose broadly on expectations that Greece was closer to tapping the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to help repay its ballooning debt.

With few economic indicators due Friday to move the market, investors geared up for the start of the first-quarter earnings season next week.

The benchmark S&P 500 <.SPX> has rallied 76 percent since hitting bottom in March 2009.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)