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Byline: Andrew Countryman
CHICAGO _ Federal regulators on Tuesday proposed steps to give investors greater flexibility in how their stock trades are executed, in a move that could take business from the New York Stock Exchange.
The Securities and Exchange Commission voted to issue a proposal that would ease the hotly contested "trade-through" rule, which often requires a market to ship an order to trade a stock to another market if a better price is available.
Critics say the time it takes for an order to be handled can cost investors money, because that price can disappear.
While stressing the importance of ensuring the best price for investors, commissioners agreed to put forth a proposal for a rule to allow customers to decide for …