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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

(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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