These ETFs play defense when stocks fall and posted strong returns this year

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
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(This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only).

For investors looking to play defense into year-end with stocks rolling over on Monday, there are some exchange-traded funds that tend to go higher on days when equities decline.

The list below shows ETFs with a negative beta over the past three years, as well as a positive return for 2020. Assets with negative beta tend to go up when the broad stock market goes down, and vice versa.

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