BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- You can't underestimate lazy people's desire to take more of the "work" out of living.Products such as $450 self-directed vacuum cleaners and $35 electric-powered jar openers are truly for the slothful among us. But the makers of such devices are on a list of companies that have bright futures as long as the economy continues to recover and consumers loosen the purse strings. Their decision to spend defines the sector -- consumer discretionary. Essentially, you don't need those products to live. It's a broad group that includes everything from car companies to restaurants and retailers. That stock-market sector had a great run in 2010, returning 27%, including 13% in the fourth quarter, Morningstar said. The broader S&P 500 Index returned 15%. A bet on consumer-discretionary stocks now is essentially a bet the economy will continue to recover this year. If that's the case, it's almost certain there's pent-up demand for consumer goods and services that make life easier. But over the past few weeks, that thesis may have been threatened. Consumer confidence slid in December after reaching a three-year high in November, as more people rated current economic conditions and the state of their personal finances as poor, according to Discover U.S. Spending Monitor. Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom writes that "while pockets of softness still exist, we expect another year of mid-single-digit (earnings) growth among consumer cyclical firms in 2011 as the U.S. economy continues its slow recovery." The five companies cited on the following pages have good ratings from analysts. Several are diverse, and the performance of any one product isn't likely to influence the company's overall performance.