Communications chipmakers were left out in the cold for the second consecutive day Friday following

Merrill Lynch's

downgrade of the sector on Thursday.

In Nasdaq trading Friday,

Applied Micro Circuits

(AMCC)

closed down $5.25, or 8.6%, at $55.69; Broadcom

(BRCM)

fell $11.50, or 8%, to $144.50, and

Transwitch

(TXCC)

was off $1.94, or 5%, to $38.06.

Vitesse Semiconductor

(VTSS)

, bucking the trend, closed up $1.50, or 2.3%, to $65.75.

PMC Sierra

(PMCS)

also edged up $1.19 to $113.

Citing inventory levels "more than 40% higher that historical norms" Merrill cut its intermediate-term rating to "accumulate" from "buy" and reduced its price targets on all of these stocks.