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A data-base sampler

Dow Jones News/Retrieval Service 1-800-257-5114 Features: The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Dow Jones news wire, transcripts of TV's ``Wall Street Week,'' Securities and Exchange Commission filings by 8,500 companies, detailed reports on 3,150 companies, stock price quotations, airline schedules and fares, Fidelity Investor's Express (to trade stocks and options), MCI mail, Investext (analyst reports from 50 brokerages), etc.

Costs: One-time $75 sign-up fee, waived with purchase of certain software packages. Day rates, 90 cents a minute; night rates, 20 cents. More for some data bases and company reports. CompuServe Information Services 1-800-848-8199

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Features: Current and historical price quotations on more than 40,000 stocks, bonds, and options, Standard & Poor's company reports, commodity news, Value Line reports, MicroNet (financial analysis programs and storage space for portfolio), computer user groups (for advice and free programs), major newspapers, magazines, etc. A connection with Quick & Reilly brokerage.

Costs: Membership fee $20 annually. Rates: 20 to 25 cents a minute ``prime time''; 10 to 20 cents 20 a minute ``standard time.'' The Source 1-800-336-3366

Features: Market quotations (no extra charge), U.S. News & World Report, company reports, portfolio management, commodity news, investment adviser commentary, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, INFOX (program for company payrolls, inventory control, etc.), trading with discount broker Spear Securities, computer user groups, personnel network, major newspapers.

Costs: Sign-up fee, $50. Monthly user fee, $10. Day rates, 14 to 18 cents a minute; night rates, 36 to 43 cents. Warner Computer Systems (212) 661-2860

Features: Stock, bond, and options prices and financial data on 20,000 companies going back 10 years, SEC filings, company earnings forecasts from 1,000 analysts, integrated software packages. Only closing prices; commodity quotations only on gold.

Costs: One-time $48 sign-up fee. Day rates, 85 cents to $1.50; night rates, 30 to 60 cents.-- D. C. S.

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