NEW YORK — U.S. stocks fell for the third day in a row as energy companies tumbled along with the price of crude oil. Investors also sold high-dividend stocks as bond yields rose, giving investors other alternatives for seeking income.

Crude oil prices fell 5 percent, their biggest drop in more than a year, after the government reported a big buildup in fuel stockpiles.

A survey by a payroll company showed that private companies added the most jobs in three years in February, a sign of stronger economic growth. That helped send bond prices lower and yields higher. The report showed big increases in construction and manufacturing hiring.

According to industry measurements and government data, manufacturing and business investment have improved in the last few months after a steep slump. However investors have longed for evidence manufacturing and construction companies were bringing on more workers, and there wasn’t much of that until Wednesday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 dipped 5.41 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,362.98. The Dow Jones lost 69.03 points, or 0.3 percent, to 20,855.73. The Nasdaq composite rose 3.62 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,836.55 as health care and technology companies moved higher.